george dorn (gdorn) wrote,
george dorn

couple thoughts on PKD (from blog/FB posts)

On "Schizophrenic" qualities in PKD (Galactic Pot Healer discussion)
the so-called schizophrenic (these days a less p.c. and less scientifically accurate metaphor) aspects of the Game are also what [potentially] give the Game its power. I'm reminded of the W.S. Burroughs cutup method. The method of taking signs and defamiliarizing them of their cultural content can be liberating, part of a transcendental project. It can also liberate you into the void--in the process of deterritorializing Control we can also lose it. In any event, it's a fascinating semiotic study. I think a lot of this attention to sign play is already evident in gnostic allegory, and it's interesting to look at gnosticism as a religion for the sign-study enthusiast. PKD was a great example of the early semiotic master: this is why he's so beloved of "we postmodernists" right?

re: Cornell teaching Androids
sad they feel the need to sell it in the first breath of the description on having been made into an important film. I worry not only that this will bias students to mistake the book for a novelization of the movie (or vice versa) and incline them to think they can skip the book for the film to get the "details of the plot" (let alone the themes, which aren't at all the same!), but also that it gives the impression that PKD's literary worth has something to do with his movie fame. The story of Dick's literary importance, when told, may eventually include something about the commercial (and even the critical) success of his films, but we should be very careful not to mistake PKD for "the kind of SF writer whose work gets made into films easily." It's more obvious in the case of films like Total Recall, which totally lose it, but the differences between Blade and Droid should be emphasized precisely because Blade Runner is that rare great film made from a great book, yet the distance is equally great.
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