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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

RAW on Philip K. Dick

Robert Anton Wilson, remembering Philip K. Dick:

Phil Dick and I had a long conversation one afternoon at Santa Rosa, and it was only a year later that I found out that he and I had exactly similar experiences at approximately the same time, which left both of us wondering if we'd been contacted by god, by the devil, by an extra-terrestrial from Sirius or by some evil parapsychologist working for either the CIA or the KGB, or if we had just gone temporarily crazy. Then I realized this whole long conversation was Phil's attempt to find out how crazy I was. If I was sane, there was a chance that he was sane too. But if I was crazy, that increased the probability that he was crazy. He apparently decided that I was sane enough that could trust that he was possibly sane took, so he started publishing some of his experiences, which now are in several books: Valis, The Divine Invasion, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, Radio Free Albemuth and the Exegesis. My accounts of similar experiences are in Cosmic Trigger Vol. 1."

From issue 11 of PKD-Otaku, an electronic fanzine. Via a posting at the Total Dick-Head blog.


michael said...

In _Philip K. Dick: In His Own Words_,ed. Greg Rickman, p.55, PKD talks about a little about his acquaintance with RAW and that both of them agreed on their fascination with conspiracy theories, that they tink about CTs in similar ways, including the "absurd" idea that there's something benevolent "behind it all."

In the book _To The High Castle_ by Rickman, on page X of the Foreword, Tim Powers wrote that some "critics" put forth the rumor that PKD's correspondence with RAW caused PKD to go over the edge. Something like that. I don't have that book on hand. Anyway, I've never gotten a good answer: WHO? What "critic" put forth that idea?

quackenbush said...

Wow, nice find. Obvious implication that Wilson had a huge influence on PKD. Never knew that.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...


I met Tim Powers at the end of October at the World Fantasy Con; I wish I had met him after reading your comment, so that I could ask him about it.

Mr. Hand said...

Wilson was only an influence on PKD late (i.e. after reading Cosmic Trigger... I dunno about any of RAW's novels), but I guess you could say he had a small influence on the VALIS trilogy. There's at least one mention of Cosmic Trigger in the recently published Exegesis volume (he also mentions the McKenna brothers).