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Saturday, June 29, 2024

With RAW fans at the Phil Dick conference

The 3rd International Philip K. Dick Festival was held in Fort Morgan, Colorado from June 13 – 16, 2024. (As you'll recall if you read this blog, that's where Dick is buried.)

My friend Ted Hand writes (about two weeks ago), "As you may recall I've been looking into the PKD/RAW connection and had the privilege of interfacing with the fan-scholarly Dickhead community last weekend. By coincidence David Gill had his last online PKD class meeting the day we all arrived in Fort Morgan, CO, and I got to ask Tim Powers what he remembered of conversations surrounding Cosmic Trigger in Dick's circle in the late 70s. Unfortunately he didn't remember much other than that the book was around. Another Californian who was present remembered that Cosmic Trigger was often on someone's coffee table in counter-culture circles at the time, but Dick scholar Doug Mackey (who remembers reading PKD in 1957!) told me that he found CT pretty dubious at the time. Which helped me calibrate the relative weirdness of the early Dick audience... Also had a nice chat with a young lady from Mississippi who rocked a t-shirt with "I have seen the fnords." Was nice to confirm that the younger generation is still taking acid and reading Prometheus Rising (she was excited to learn that there is more Tarot stuff in Game of Life which she hadn't heard of)."

As for the conference, Ted reports, "The big insight related to PKD was that despite the importance of the Nag Hammadi 'gnostic' scriptures in Valis, there are only a couple of references to Nag Hammadi in the Exegesis (as reported by Gabriel McKee) although we still have another thousand pages or so left to transcribe in the Zebrapedia project."

Also, here is a thread by Ted on his Philip K. Dick project, and he explains, "I think the conclusion to my PKD project is that he can be situated in the Hermetic tradition. Starts out by wondering how to deal with PKD as a transmitter of the Yates take on Bruno's 'magical memory' to the Phildickian Gnostics in works like Valis and Cosmogony and Cosmology."

Also, above is the video of author Jonathem Lethem's keynote talk at the conference, about which Erik Davis says is a "great talk." From the YouTube posting: "His presentation was called 'Multiple Worlds Vying to Exist: Philip K. Dick and Palestine: A Journey by Way of Etienne Souriau's 'Different Modes of Existence,' David Lapoujade's 'World's Fall Apart,' and Cyril Kornbluth's 'The Marching Morons.' "...but us D*ckheads like to call it 'The Sermon on the Porch.' "

For RAW on Dick see two books: Chaos and Beyond and Beyond Chaos and Beyond.   RAW and PKD met at a science fiction convention in 1978 in Santa Rosa, California, here is one account and here is what D. Scott Apel remembers. 

1 comment:

Spookah said...

Thank you for this very nice post.
I would love to know more about the connection between PKD and the Art of Memory.