| 
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.

View
 

ChiChenJenn

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 6 months ago

 

May 3

  OH NO FINALS ARE HERE! haha

 

April 30

 

  Well classes are ending and I feel like there is so much to do. Im moving back home for good now since ill be graduating. I cant believe im done at Penn State! Its crazy! I found this article and wanted to share with everyone about moving back home!

 

Bringing it all back home

Boomerang kids are moving home after college, coping with debts and waiting to try their wings

Recent Endicott College graduate Kristin Bradshaw has found the perfect pad: There's no rent, most of her meals are prepared, and she doesn't have to do much cleaning.

 

There's just one teensy drawback: Her housemate is her mom.

Because the 22-year-old doesn't have money socked away or a full-time job to support herself, her only option for the moment is to bunk up with her mother, and she's not necessarily happy about it.

``I never thought I'd move back in with my parents," she said. ``I feel like I'm taking a step backward."

For many college students, the postgraduation path is marked by new challenges and unbounded opportunities. For others, though, the road is familiar and well worn, and it winds straight back to mom and dad's front door.

In the United States, young adults who ricochet back home are known as boomerang kids. They're also referred to as adultescents or thresholders, and their families are said to suffer from cluttered nest syndrome. The British use a wry acronym to describe them, too: KIPPERS, or kids in parents' pockets eroding retirement savings.

The phenomenon was first noticed in the late 1990s, according to Jean Elson, assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Now, according to the US Census Bureau, 25 percent of adults aged 18 to 34, or nearly 18 million, live with their parents.

Elson called it a countertrend, meaning that it's discordant with the high rate of divorces and separations that disconnect families.

It's also a symptom of the postindustrial economy. Gone are the days when people could land a well-paying job in a meaningful profession right out of high school. A college degree is almost mandatory these days, Elson explained, and advanced degrees are really required to get ahead. As a result, young adults are taking longer to establish themselves and start families.

``There is a tremendous need for extended education that really has postponed adulthood, sometimes even into the 30s," she said.

Financial woes are similarly to blame. Many postgrads are buried by credit card debt and colossal student loans, so moving back home enables them to save money or get ahead with bills, Elson said. It also allows them to postpone high rent or mortgage costs.

Irresolute 20-somethings, meanwhile, view boomeranging as a temporary stopover to clear their heads and anticipate future career moves, as well as get one last snuggle with the security blanket that is the middle class.

``I think that most young adults are starving for independence," Elson said, ``but I think they're also ambivalent."

That about sums up Bradshaw's feelings.

The recent college grad is torn between immediately pursuing a career in marketing or advertising, attending graduate school, or volunteering with the Peace Corps. She applied to the Peace Corps earlier this year. If accepted, she will teach English in Africa for the next year or two.

Bringing it all back home

Boomerang kids are moving home after college, coping with debts and waiting to try their wings

Recent Endicott College graduate Kristin Bradshaw has found the perfect pad: There's no rent, most of her meals are prepared, and she doesn't have to do much cleaning.

There's just one teensy drawback: Her housemate is her mom.

Because the 22-year-old doesn't have money socked away or a full-time job to support herself, her only option for the moment is to bunk up with her mother, and she's not necessarily happy about it.

``I never thought I'd move back in with my parents," she said. ``I feel like I'm taking a step backward."

For many college students, the postgraduation path is marked by new challenges and unbounded opportunities. For others, though, the road is familiar and well worn, and it winds straight back to mom and dad's front door.

In the United States, young adults who ricochet back home are known as boomerang kids. They're also referred to as adultescents or thresholders, and their families are said to suffer from cluttered nest syndrome. The British use a wry acronym to describe them, too: KIPPERS, or kids in parents' pockets eroding retirement savings.

The phenomenon was first noticed in the late 1990s, according to Jean Elson, assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Now, according to the US Census Bureau, 25 percent of adults aged 18 to 34, or nearly 18 million, live with their parents.

Elson called it a countertrend, meaning that it's discordant with the high rate of divorces and separations that disconnect families.

It's also a symptom of the postindustrial economy. Gone are the days when people could land a well-paying job in a meaningful profession right out of high school. A college degree is almost mandatory these days, Elson explained, and advanced degrees are really required to get ahead. As a result, young adults are taking longer to establish themselves and start families.

``There is a tremendous need for extended education that really has postponed adulthood, sometimes even into the 30s," she said.

Financial woes are similarly to blame. Many postgrads are buried by credit card debt and colossal student loans, so moving back home enables them to save money or get ahead with bills, Elson said. It also allows them to postpone high rent or mortgage costs.

Irresolute 20-somethings, meanwhile, view boomeranging as a temporary stopover to clear their heads and anticipate future career moves, as well as get one last snuggle with the security blanket that is the middle class.

``I think that most young adults are starving for independence," Elson said, ``but I think they're also ambivalent."

That about sums up Bradshaw's feelings.

The recent college grad is torn between immediately pursuing a career in marketing or advertising, attending graduate school, or volunteering with the Peace Corps. She applied to the Peace Corps earlier this year. If accepted, she will teach English in Africa for the next year or two.

Page 2 of 2 --

In the interim, she will move back home to Stow to consider her options.

``I'm living at home until I figure out what I'm going to do," she said. ``I don't know what I want to do yet or where I want to go."

She offered this advice for those who don't want to get caught up in the same bind: Save money throughout college and start seeking full-time employment at the start of senior year.

``I really don't want to move back home at all," she said, explaining that it will be difficult to have to answer to an adult figure again and lose the independence she gained in college. ``I'm 22. I don't want to feel like I have a baby sitter."

But the move is going to require some adjustments on her mother's part, too.

``I'm not thrilled that she's moving back home," Kristin's mom, Robin Bradshaw, said with a hearty laugh.

She's a single parent who lives alone, so having someone else in the apartment will take some getting used to, she said. Even so, it won't be unwelcome.

``I love her; she's my only child," Robin Bradshaw said. ``I'd never tell her she can't live at home."

She does plan to set ground rules, though. She would like her daughter to start paying rent if she hasn't moved out after six months. Robin also expects Kristin to do her own laundry and learn to cook her own meals. Simple acts of courtesy, such as communicating where she's going and when she'll be home, would be appreciated, as well.

``And her room has to be clean," Robin said with another laugh.

Still, not everyone sees boomeranging as an awkward transition or a backward step. Some rebounding children and cluttered nesters actually enjoy the time living together under one roof.

UNH graduate Jennifer Deuell didn't see her family much during college -- they were 1,000 miles away in Columbia, S.C. -- so she's returning to the nest now to reacquaint herself and spend quality time with them.

She also intends to set a good example for her younger sisters by waiting to live with her fiance until they marry in January.

``I have very cool parents, and I get along with them very well," Deuell said. ``I've missed them. It will be so nice to be with them for a little while."

She plans to maintain that pleasant, civil atmosphere by doing her fair share around the house, she said. She will assist with cooking and cleaning and giving rides to her younger sisters.

And she'll keep busy with a full-time job at Intel and graduate school classes at the University of South Carolina. ``I'm not a moocher," Deuell said with a laugh.

Jenna Andersen, an Endicott graduate from Methuen, doesn't like to consider herself a freeloader, either, even if she is planning to move home for an indefinite amount of time.

She intends to live with her parents while she starts her career in nursing. She chose to move home because she wants to save money for her own place.

``I'm hoping not to stay there till I'm 30," she said.

It will still be a matter of years, however, possibly as many as five.

Other graduating seniors shudder at such a prospect.

Jennifer Lawson, who recently completed her studies at UNH, said that boomeranging can be unhealthy, especially in the critical postgraduation stage when young adults are trying to evolve and establish themselves.

She never considered moving back in with her folks, she said. Her postgraduation plans are to live with her boyfriend while she works as a nurse at Exeter Hospital.

``It's regression," she explained. ``You're going back and fitting the role of a child. You need to figure things out on your own and grow."

But like Bradshaw, many new college graduates find that concept to be unnerving or even overwhelming.

Scott Bergeron, a graduate student at UNH from Brunswick, Maine, jokingly compared graduation to being released from an extended jail term: It can be disorienting and distressing, because you're used to operating under a certain structure and following particular rules.

He moved back in with his dad for eight months after he graduated in 2003.

When asked if he would do so again, he said with a smirk and without hesitation, ``No, to be honest, I wouldn't."

 

 

 

April 27

 

 IM AN AUNT....!! Kylie Elizabeth is 7lbs 12oz and 20 inches! She has a hazel eyes and black curly hair!! She is just gorgeous and came at 3:23am!! Im so excited...! Im heading back to the hospital now but I wanted to share the news with everyone!!

 

 

April 17

 

My little sister got her liscense today! How scarey is that...! I cant believe she is going to be driving...! Today is her 17th birthday and she also got a car! Dont worry guys, she is in NJ so you dont have to rush off the road! haha

 

 

 

April 12

 

As to the Dream project...I had a strange one the other night. I was getting married to an Ex (who i cant stand by the way) haha and nothing was ready, we never got a dress, tux, anything! I can the dream saw what I wanted to see...IT WOULD HAVE NEVER WORKED OUT...!! haha 

 

 

 

April 5

 

     So I cant believe that the end of the semester is coming so quickly! Anyways I wanted to share with everyone that I will be an aunt to a beautiful baby girl soon! Im so excited...!!

 

April 3

 

Sorry I haven't been sreaking with anyone about group projects....i've had some family emergencies bacj in NJ. I've been traveling back and forth to school and trying to keep up. I love the film festival ideas! I would love to help out. If your fulled with students for the project I can work on another one. Any guidelines for this group project?

 

 

 

 

April 1

Image Preview

What has everyone decided to do for their final project? I am having a tough time coming up with some ideas! Does anyone know exactly what the guidelines are? I never seem to get all the information in class....like others I need to make sure I write down more notes in class. I would appreciate anyone's help. Thanks so much! See ya tuesday!

 

 
 
 
March 26th Assignment- UBIK REMIX FULL TEXT: enlish473.doc
After reading Ubik, I found that I had an interest I never knew about. This book is a great example of exploring the unknown. It brings forth comedy in bazaar and serious situations that most authors wouldn’t attempt. It explores ideas of the unknown and a sense of a new reality that no one has experienced. I thought it would be interested to remix this book using poetry as my main tool. This could add a new literary affect to the story. I have remixed pages in Philip Dick’s Ubik to also give it a Jennifer Dick rhythm with a touch of poetic expression.
Taking a look at chapter two, page sixteen, Dick has put together a dialogue between Glen Runciter and a suspicious voice who called themselves, Jory, over the telephone. It’s the beginning of an interesting theme to the story. After several reviews of this page, I decided to remix it in order to give it a more literary scheme. With this remix it still allows for the dialogue to take place
but approaches it in an unusual way. This new form cuts out the unnecessary wording that takes places in between the conversation taking place.
“Get off the line,” Runciter said with fear.
“I was talking to my wife Ella, get off of here.”
“I am Jory,” the voice’s sound came, “What is your name?”
“I want to speak with my wife, Runciter said.
“I paid to speak with Mrs. Ella”
Jory explained, “I talk to her too,
but for now you can speak to me fella.”
With anger and despair Mr. Runciter threw
down the plug from his ear.
The business owner noticed,
which made his stomach fluttered with fear!
Mr. Runciter explained his interruption in a hurry;
the owner knew right away the voice was Jory.
Von Voglesang reported,
“Jory is located next to your wife, in the bin.”
Mr. Runciter replied, “But I can see Ella…what a sin!”
The new style of this book doesn’t stop there. After remixing that page it was hard not to do the same to more pages throughout the book. The next page that I remixed was in chapter six, page 71.
 
They hadn’t imagined each of us to live.
The bomb floated above our heads to the wall.
Each of them now have a story to give.
Joe thought, had they assumed the bomb would kill us all?
Although maybe it didn’t go as planned
which is why the power didn’t go out.
Everyone began to feel lucky the bomb
didn’t hit their end of the hall.
“The others, their all ok!” Don Denny managed to shout.
They were getting close to their ship
and approached with fear.
When they get there... will it ever let us go?
Was there something waiting for them there that they didn’t hear!
Is this a malicious force…we don’t know!
In the next couple of chapters the audience sees the plot thickening and the story really starting to take off. Looking at chapter 10, page 139 I have remixed it so that it goes with the flow of the rest of the pages I have changed. All these pages posses the same qualities revolving a poetic rhythm.
Shall I drink Ubik liver and kidney balm today?
This shall kill me rather quickly I would say.
But this wasn’t the death that he would like,
Drinking cobalt chloride has just the right spike.
He thought for a second about Des Moines and the year.
There is a way to get me here!
He tried every last key until it was right,
The car engine was putting up a good fight
He struggled when putting the car in gear…
But finally made it work and gave a cheer!
He finally moved forward with a clean slate.
He wanted to get to the airport before it was to late!
The last page that I sent time remixing was in chapter 17, page 215. I found this to be an important page because it ends the story. Altering the way, which it is written could also alter the way the ending, is interpreted.
Runciter was searching for the moratorium
owner in a frantic way.
He needed to speak with Ella; there was a lot to say.
Waiting for Ella as she came out for him to see,
Runciter was anxious to speak to her and to plea.
The casket was wheeled out to him and he was anxious too,
So he handed coins to the secretary and said,
“this is for you!”
 
Attempting to change this book and make it more of my genre, I have created numerous ways to re-read the story. These changes leave room for different themes and schemes. In my opinion, using poetry to rewrite this piece of scientific fiction I am creating a different atmosphere and even a new audience. Science fiction is a large genre that has a large audience, however I am suggesting that remixing pages using poetry can allow for more readers to enjoy the book, Ubik.
As an English major I have always preferred poetry as my genre of reading. Remixing these pages into a poetry scheme seems to have given it a less scientific effect. From a readers point of view this could be an interesting way in which to read a science fiction book. I used poetry because it gave a new effect to the pages. The dialogue, in the first page I edited, between the two characters now appears more poetic. Poetry is defined as “an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response.” By using poetry to remix Ubik I have put a rhythm into this book. It brings forth a new expression and way to the story. No one has ever attempted to write a poetic scientific fiction story, as an English major I
thought it would add a certain essence to Philip Dick’s book.
Poetry affects people in different ways. It allows the reader to feel more connected to the author. By remixing Ubik and allowing it to be considered as a poem, gives the book a broader and larger audience, as I stated previously. It will now open to new readers that have an interest in poetry, science fiction, or both combined. It is a way to put two very different genres into one.
This was an interesting task to perform because I was able to take my writing skills and passion for poetry and turn into a new addition to Ubik. The biggest effect I believe this had on the story was again to bring forth more emotions to the readers. Creating an emotion through a science fiction story is not always easy. However I found that by altering the writing into a poetic literature I was able to establish that emotion that was missing and form a new essence it never had before.
 
 

Well believe or not I finally realized how the heck to use this damn thing! haha And I used to think I was pretty informed with technology including computer softwares! Anyway I have tons of blogs that I have saved in a word document. As soon as I get out of class today I will post them all. Just wanted everyone to know that I have been keeping up with the blogs online. See ya in class today!!!


 

The idea of placing the entire story into the poetic form is awesome! I had a weird gut feeling of Ubik becoming placed in a Gothic Shakespeare kind of genre. Where the creepy, confusing and dark concepts in Dick's work became remixed with Shakespeare sometimes violent, meaningful and poingnant works. Sweetness!

Grade=A-

 

Call Me Ishmael

 

 

March 19

 

Spring Break is over and its actually crazy to think this is my last semster here! I cant believe this is my last spring break of college! I attend on graduating in Decemeber! Anyways I have been exploring the wiki and finally learned how to really use the thing. Believe it or not I have been trying to figure this out. The sad part is that I thought I was pretty good when it came to technology. Spring Break gave me a lot of time to think about this course and other courses I am currently taking. This one is much more interesting then others because I am able to interact with my peers both in class and on wiki. Most students aren't staying active with the angel site anymore. This wiki is a different approach to keep the students and teacher connected even outside of the class room.

 

 

March 15th

 

Ive been trying to decide how to write this paper for class. Can someone tell me where the link is to the paper guidelines...i feel lost! Thanks!!

 

To my knowledge there isn't a paper guidelines page, per se, for the assignment due Mon. However, I do have notes for both "prompts." For the first option, you pick a page from Ubik, then remix it (throw in outside text, rearrange the original text, add pics or vids, etc.), and describe the intended effects of your remix in a five-page paper. Write how and why you chose said page, explain how remixing it alters the consciousness of the reader, and write about the rhetorical effects of the remix itself. The purpose of the first option is to help you notice the "built" character of cultural artifacts like books. For the second option, explain the rhetorical strategies/"caesura" of Wilson's Cosmic Trigger. Argue how the text induces "reality flutter" in the reader and support your reasoning w/ evidence from the text. The deadline for either assignment is Monday the 26th. It must be posted on the Wiki. Call Me Ishamel upped his Ubik remix recently. Check it out. -Houdini

 

 

 

 

March 3

The readings for March 1st were exciting and different then anything I've heard before. I found what Mobius wrote to be very convincing. The transgenic involution paper seemed to have a lot of interesting points. The one that stuck out the most to me was the explanation of the female cannabis plant. It was extremly interesting to learn about the way in which people preceive things that are intoxicating to them. After reading about the cannabis plant I felt the need to google it and see what I could come up with! haha I found this picture on the web and thought I would share it with all of you! Im sure this is not what anyone really thinks of when they hear about this plant.

 

 

February 12

I started reading Ubik today! And so far I am surprised at how much I am interested in the genre of Science fiction. It is really interesting how Philip Dick explores the unknown but still uses comedy in serious situations including death. The first few chapters have managed to catch my attention. If this book continues to be so intriquing I may have to read more of his books. I also thought I should mention that I'm not related to Philip Dick although you may think so since we are both DICKS! Yes I am Jennifer Dick but NO I am not related to him.

 

I actually have a story to share with everyone about my last name. When I was in elementary school (which seems so long go, by the way) a smart-ass kid would constantly make jokes about my name. I remember coming home from school upset and telling my mom about the situation. She, of course, is a woman that ALWAYS says whats on her mind. That day she taught me to stand up for myself and the next time the kid made fun of my name I was to say," AT LEAST MY LAST NAME IS DICK and IM NOT ONE LIKE YOU" So I did as I was told and I course spent my first day in detention! But it was sooooooo worth. Later that year the kid apologized and said that he always wanted to ask me, "Are you related to Moby Dick?" Apparently the kid wasn't a "SMART-ass" just an ass! haha Hope everyone enjoyed that story!

 

 

February 6

 

I was thinking about "tagging" and the technology connected with it. Correct me if im wrong but like we mentioned in class people could easily start tagging people in order to learn more about them. In my opinion this is borderline breaking of privacy! However I was thinking further and I like the idea of knowing where sexual offenders are as well as other criminals in my neighborhood. This would be a step up from the neighborhood watch registry that they have to sign up on. It's funny though if you think about it. Pets are now receiving this kind of tag so that we can monitor where are animals are. They seem to get lost all the time and now there is a way to locate them. This new technology is such an unique addition to owning a pet. It makes it easier to know where your pet is when they run off, as they all do. When I brought this up to another class someone mentioned an idea to put chips in children as well. Although this seems like a smart idea especially when you think about how many children go missing everyday! However I guess we need to figure out where we are to draw the line. Do we implant chips into children or just animals? I thought this was an interesting discussion! Let me know what you think.

 

 

February 3

Found somethings on Philip Dick and thought I would share them with the class on the wiki! Compliments of philipkdick.com!!

 

Go to fullsize image 1928-1982

 

Science Fiction Visionary

Since his untimely death at age 53, there has been an extraordinary growth of interest in his writings, which during his lifetime were largely ignored by serious mainstream critics and readers. Such is no longer the case, and the novels of Philip K. Dick frequently appear on university curricula devoted to modern American literature. But that is only the beginning of the transformation. Since 1982, when Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (based on Dick's novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) made its debut, eight feature films based on Dick's fiction have appeared, the other seven being Total Recall, The Minority Report, Screamers, Impostor, the French film Confessions d'un Barjo (based on Dick's mainstream novel, Confessions of a Crap Artist), Paycheck, A Scanner Darkly and the upcoming Next (April 2007). That's an average of roughly one movie every three years since Dick's passing - a rate of cinematic adaptation exceeded only by Stephen King. And there are other big-money film options currently held by Hollywood studios.

 

Philip K. Dick has done more than arrive. He has become a looming and illuminating presence not merely in American but in world culture, with his works translated into major European and Asian languages. There is even a bastard adjective - "phildickian "- that makes its way into print now and then to describe the baffling twists and turns of our times. An understanding of the basic facts of Dick's life not only casts light on the themes that predominate in his writings, but also brings to view a fascinating story in its own right.

The Early Years

He was born prematurely, along with his twin sister Jane, in Chicago on December 16, 1928. His father was Edgar Dick, his mother Dorothy Kindred - from her maiden name came Dick's middle initial. Jane died six weeks after her birth, a loss that Phil felt deeply throughout his life. As time went on, Phil came, with whatever justice, to blame his mother for Jane's death. His relationship with both of his parents was decidedly difficult, and made only more so when they divorced when he was five years old.

 

Sister Jane, his mother, and his father served as models for many of the characters who would populate Dick's fictional universes in the decades to come. In particular, the death of Jane - and Phil's traumatic sense of separation from her, an experience common to many twins who have lost their sibling - contributed to the dualist (twin-poled) dilemmas that dominated his creative work - science fiction (SF)/mainstream, real/fake, human/android. It was out of these pressing dualities that the two vast questions emerged which Dick often cited as encompassing his writing: What is Real? and What is Human?

 

Mother Dorothy retained custody over her son, and they eventually settled in Berkeley, where Dick grew up, graduated from high school, and briefly attended the University of California in 1949 before dropping out.

 

Starting in seventh grade, however, Dick began suffering from bouts of extreme vertigo; the vertigo recurred with special intensity during his brief undergraduate stint. In his late teens, Dick later recalled, he was diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia - a label that terrified him. Other psychotherapists and psychiatrists in later years would offer other diagnoses, including the one that Dick was quite sane.

 

Leaving aside medical terminology, there is no question that Dick felt himself, throughout his life, to suffer from bouts of psychological anguish that he frequently referred to as "nervous breakdowns." His experience of these was transmuted into fictional portraits, most notably of "ex-schizophrenic" Jack Bohlen in Martian Time-Slip (1964).

A Genre of Ideas

In a 1968 "Self Portrait" he recalled the moment of discovery of the genre that would ultimately set him free to write of the complex realities of his own personal experience:

"I was twelve in 1940 when I read my first sf magazine…it was called Stirring Science Stories and ran, I think, four issues….I came across the magazine quite by accident; I was actually looking for Popular Science. I was most amazed. Stories about science? At once I recognized the magic which I had found, in earlier times, in the Oz books - this magic now coupled not with magic wands but with science…In any case my view became magic equals science…and science (of the future) equals magic."

This is not to say that Dick read only SF during his coming of age years. On the contrary, he was an omnivorous and devouring reader, taking in Xenophon's Anabasis, Joyce's Finnegans Wake, the French realists such as Stendhal, Flaubert and Maupassant - all this and much more by his early twenties. Dick gave credit to the American Depression-era writer James T. Farrell, author of Studs Lonigan, for helping Dick see how to construct the SF stories that he sold in such numbers to the SF pulps in the early 1950s.

 

And even though Dick never lost his yearning to be accepted by the literary mainstream, he always regarded it as a kind of treason to deprecate the SF genre he grew up on and flourished in. As he wrote in 1980, two years before his death:

"I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards. Okay, so I should revise my standards; I'm out of step. I should yield to reality. I have never yielded to reality. That's what SF is all about. If you wish to yield to reality, go read Philip Roth; read the New York literary establishment mainstream bestselling writers….This is why I love SF. I love to read it; I love to write it. The SF writer sees not just possibilities but wild possibilities. It's not just 'What if' - it's 'My God; what if' - in frenzy and hysteria. The Martians are always coming."

An Author Finds His Voice

From age fifteen to his early twenties, Dick was employed in two Berkeley shops, University Radio and Art Music, owned by Herb Hollis, a salt-of-the-earth American small businessman who became a kind of father-figure for Dick and served as an inspiration for a number of his later fictional characters, most notably Leo Bulero in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965), who, in the memo to his employees that serves as the frontispiece to that novel, gruffly affirms the human spirit:

"I mean, after all; you have to consider we're only made out of dust. That's admittedly not much to go on and we shouldn't forget that. But even considering, I mean it's a sort of bad beginning, we're not doing too bad. So I personally have faith that even in this lousy situation we're faced with we can make it. You get me?"

Three Stigmata, which deals with a terrifying Gnostic-style demiurgic invasion of earth by means of the eerily permeating hallucinogen "Chew-Z," so fascinated Beatle John Lennon that he considered making a film of it.

 

In the early 1950s, with the helpful mentorship of SF editor and Berkeley resident Anthony Boucher, Dick began to publish stories in the SF pulps of the era at an astonishing rate - seven of his stories appeared in June 1953 alone. He soon gave up his employment in the Hollis shops to pursue the economically insecure career of an SF writer.

 

In 1954, Dick later recalled with humor, he met one of his SF idols, A. E. Van Vogt, at an SF convention, where Van Vogt proceeded to convince the neophyte writer that there was more money to be made in novels than in stories. Henceforward, Dick's rate of production of SF novels was as remarkable as his story output had been. At his creative peak, he published sixteen SF novels between 1959 and 1964. During this same period, he also wrote mainstream novels that went unpublished, much to his anguish. To this day, it is his SF work for which Dick is best remembered, and justly so.

 

After a very brief failed first marriage in 1948, remarried four times - to Kleo Apostolides in 1950, to Anne Williams Rubenstein in 1959, to Nancy Hackett in 1966, and to Tessa Busby in 1973. There was one child born in each of the latter three marriages -respectively, his daughters Laura and Isa and son Christopher. During his lifetime, Dick was regarded with respect by SF fans and fellow writers, though his sales never came close to matching those of the most popular SF writers of his era such as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert.

 

Dick received the Hugo Award in 1963 for The Man in the High Castle, which tells of a post-World War II world in which Japan and Germany are the victors and the continental United States is roughly divided between them. In devising the plot, Dick employed the I Ching on several occasions and also integrated that divinatory text into the narrative itself - marking its debut in American fiction.

A Life-Changing Experience

In February and March 1974, Dick experienced a series of visions and auditions including an information-rich "pink light" beam that transmitted directly into his consciousness. A year after the events, in March 1975, Dick summarized the 2-3-74 experiences that would pervade his writing for the final eight years of his life:

"I speak of The Restorer of What Was Lost The Mender of What Was Broken."

 

"March 16, 1974: It appeared - in vivid fire, with shining colors and balanced patterns - and released me from every thrall, inner and outer.

 

"March 18, 1974: It, from inside me, looked out and saw the world did not compute, that I - and it - had been lied to. It denied the reality, and power, and authenticity of the world, saying, 'This cannot exist; it cannot exist.'

 

"March 20, 1974: It seized me entirely, lifting me from the limitations of the space-time matrix; it mastered me as, at the same time, I knew that the world around me was cardboard, a fake. Through its power of perception I saw what really existed, and through its power of no-thought decision, I acted to free myself. It took on in battle, as a champion of all human spirits in thrall, every evil, every Iron Imprisoning thing."

 

 

There are those who are eager to create a "Saint Phil" who emerged from this experience. In that regard, it is wise to remember that Dick himself always bore in mind what he called the "minimum hypothesis" -that is, the possibility that all that he had undergone was merely self-delusion.

 

On the other hand, there are those who regard Dick as a charlatan who foisted upon his readers a pseudo-mystical revelation fueled by mental disorder. But surely a charlatan is one who insists on the seriousness and accuracy of his claims. This Dick never did. One has only to go and read VALIS (1981) to find a piercingly knowing humor in Dick's portrayal of himself as Horselover Fat:

"…Fat must have come up with more theories than there are stars in the universe. Every day he developed a new one, more cunning, more exciting and more fucked."

Those who insist on the "truth" or "falsehood" of Dick's experience of 2-3-74 are missing the central point: that those experiences provided him with the means to explore, with integrity, insight, and humility, the difficulties of making sense of any spiritual path in a relentlessly secular and cynical Western culture in which even apparent revelations can be instantly repackaged as popular entertainment.

On the Edge of Eternity

Dick died on March 2, 1982, the result of a combination of recurrent strokes accompanied by heart failure. In a 1981 entry in his Exegesis (an extensive journal he kept to explore the ramifications of 2-3-74) Dick wrote as focused a self-assessment of his aims and talents as a writer as can be found in any of his journals, letters, essays, and interviews:

"I am a fictionalizing philosopher, not a novelist; my novel & story-writing ability is employed as a means to formulate my perception. The core of my writing is not art but truth. Thus what I tell is the truth, yet I can do nothing to alleviate it, either by deed or explanation. Yet this seems somehow to help a certain kind of sensitive troubled person, for whom I speak. I think I understand the common ingredient in those whom my writing helps: they cannot or will not blunt their own intimations about the irrational, mysterious nature of reality, &, for them, my corpus is one long ratiocination regarding this inexplicable reality, an integration & presentation, analysis & response & personal history."

One can readily imagine this passage having been written by Franz Kafka in his diary. And it is among the great fictionalizing philosophers of the twentieth century - Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Samuel Beckett, Rene Daumal, Flann O'Brien - that Dick's place in literary history lies. His uniqueness in this lineage is all the greater for his ability to have created great works in the broadly popular SF form. Dick remains compulsively, convulsingly readable. He is the master of the psychological pratfall, the metaphysical freefall, the political conspiracy within a conspiracy within a conspiracy. He is - as much as any contemporary writer we have - an astute guide to the shifting realities of the twenty-first century.

 

January 30th

 

Im going to start doing some reseach for some of the texts we were asked to have for the class. I think I will start with Ubik because it was written by Philip K. Dick and thats interesting to me since we share a last name! I will post as soon as I found somethings on him!

 

 

January 28

Mobius created my name chichenjenn for a certain reason. I visited the pyramids in Mexico that we discussed in class. I have put them on here to share with everyone! I hope you guys get a chance to visit them! It was a great experience and I cant wait to do it again soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 27

 

Never thought I would be able to learn how to use this wiki. But I think with a little help I can get it to work! Give me a few days! Im making no promises to understanding everything on this wiki. I believe my WIKI name is ChichenJenn according to Mobius! I love the name since I enjoyed Mexico and the pyramids so much!! Next time I will put some pictures up of the ancient pyramids! You should go visit them as soon as you can!

 

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.