philip k. dick was not a perfectionist.

by dorarandom

in fact, he didn’t even revise. BELIEVE IT OR NOT. (if you’ve read any of his books, you can probably believe it…)

i’ve been reading a lot of philip k. dick lately. weirdly—because i officially hate science fiction. but ‘confessions of a crap artist’ was recommended to me, which is one of his officially non science fiction books—though its protagonist is very much a typical ‘phildickian’ believe-it-or-not type loser protagonist—and i enjoyed it, so i started on the canon. which is worthwhile. zany and fun, even when serious, even when morbid. almost always exuberant. the books are short and go down easy. except— the man in the high castle, which to me is a superior thing, absolutely his best book.

the misogyny is shocking. truly. but it is honest. unexpurgated. (“does the man have no shame?” i keep/kept asking myself.) like the kreutzer sonata. (if tolstoy had a serious amphetamine habit…..) perhaps, as someone who has/has had a serious taste for amphetamines, i feel speedfreak kinship with the man. transcending misogyny. (there is a super-delightful character named willis gram in one of his shittier novels, our friends from frolix 8—he’s a huge fat old guy who happens to be the telepathic supreme ruler of the planet—who also happens to spend his days lolling around in a ginormous bed eating amphetamines and expertly pleasuring the ladies. yeah, beam me up for that.)

i digress—um, my point. amphetamines. pleasure. novel-reading. i guess that was the point. oh: the lesson is that perfectionism is tiring. and while we shouldn’t go to the extreme of not revising anything, we [perfectionists] should all take a page from philip k. dick and just let ourselves be our own horribly crass and prosy selves, because it’s healthy, or something, now and again—or even more often.

also, philip k. dick really liked cats. and ceramics. and cheyenne, wyoming.

Advertisements