Thursday, February 12, 2015

OMG! It's Weird Facts Thursday Again!

As regular readers of this blog know, it is Weird Facts Thursday.  So for your mystification and amusement I offer you the following:

-When I was at La Muse, in France, I selected a copy of Philip K. Dick's novel VALIS from the Living Library there to read.  As I opened it up to see the following inscription:

This book is, quite simply, about my family, extended and otherwise.  The Lamptons and Sophia live in the house where I grew up (which was not in the town mentioned in the book); conversations here are virtual transcripts, especially between Fat , Phil, and Sophia; the child on the cover is apparently based on a specific picture of me as a toddler.  Which would make sense were this book not generally regarded as not only fiction, but a masterwork of science fiction—and by those who love it as a magnificent work of philosophy.  To me it’s fairly straightforward memoir, mixed with a little Plato’s Republic.  So that is where I am from: a place and background where the lines between life and science fiction are never firm.  Make of it what you will.  Anne Midi, May 2009.

If you've ever read VALIS you know that this is quite a claim.  I was stunned, especially after I finished reading the book and everything that additional context provided.  I looked up the inscription's author, who had indeed stayed on retreat at La Muse, and who had written a book on Dick and her family's (Dick was her mother's ex husband)  relationship over the years, but the publisher caved from threats of Dick's children and pulled the book just before they were about to release it.

- In the book VALIS, the protagonist, Horselover Fat (Horselover = the translation of the Greek "Philip", and Fat = the translation of the German word "Dick") is urged to see a movie that he and his friends find filled with cosmic truth, called VALIS in the book.  The fictional movie, which stars a fictional rock star, Eric Lampton was based on The Man Who Fell to Earth with David Bowie.  One wonders if Phil and his friends went to see that film dozens of times.

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