Philip K. Dick - Typed Letter Signed [TLS] to Claudia Bush - No Publisher, 1974.


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Code: 10970

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Fullerton(?), California, No Publisher, 1974. A one-page (1pp) typed letter signed. Date July 24, 1974. The letter is signed by PKD and has two corrections. Addressed to Claudia Bush. Bush commenced her dialogue with PKD whilst writing her thesis on him for her MA at Idaho State University. The thesis was published as "The Splintered Shards: Reality and Illusion in the Novels of Philip K. Dick." Much of the Bush correspondence is held in the Willis E. McNelly collection at California State University Fullerton; they are scarce in commerce. This letter is written in the aftermath of his VALIS visions of 1974, which happened shortly after a wisdom tooth operation. Dick received a home delivery of opioids from a woman wearing a Christian Ichthys necklace. The symbol emitted a pink beam of light which was the catalyst for months of visionary experiences, including Dick?s belief that his mind had been invaded by a benign but separate consciousness. The period of PKD's visions began in February or March of 1974, and continued for anywhere between two and 12 months. In What if Our World is Their Heaven, Dick asserts that this separate consciousness was present ?for one year. From February 1974 to February 1975? (p. 149). The present letter starts off with some domestic chat, on eggs and changing the baby, which reads like a section of a PKD work in itself; he really does manage to weave rich imagery into the mundane. The rest of the letter concerns his visions, primarily his disappointment at how the Greek figures he talks to are just regular people. He highlights that the central figure in his talks is Asklepios (Asclepius) the Greek god and father of medicine. Interestingly, PKD refers to Asklepios as having been born around 600 BCE, though from what I can tell he was purely mythical. How that difference would've played out in his interpretation is hard to say. The letter finishes with PKD's disappointment that Asklepios' medicine hasn't evolved over the intervening 2500 years. Either way, PKD is thoroughly disheartened at the interaction. Asklepios and his buddies are telling PKD "half-truths and lies and opinions like anyone else," suggesting that PKD was either a slave to his own cognitive bias or they had nothing truly profound to say, in which case his disappointment may, ultimately, be directed toward himself. Fine condition. A fascinating letter. [10970, Hyraxia Books].

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