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Mon Dec 19, 2011, 12:46 PM

Valis, by PKD

What did you get from it? I just finished last week and I am interested in what you have to say . I found it fascinating and a bit overwhelming at times. It is definately a book to read more than once.

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Reply Valis, by PKD (Original post)
JitterbugPerfume Dec 2011 OP
PufPuf23 Dec 2011 #1
pitohui Dec 2011 #2
PufPuf23 Dec 2011 #3
JitterbugPerfume Jan 2012 #4
Taverner Jul 2013 #5

Response to JitterbugPerfume (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:15 PM

1. Funny to say read more than once (agree) but PKD wrote the book twice

and the books are the same theme but completely different stories.

VALIS is certainly the most auto-biographical of PKD's novels, PKD is a character himself.

Radio Free Albemuth was written as VALIS System A IIRC. PKD's editors sent the manuscript back after their edits. PKD started fresh and wrote Valis and gave the manuscript of what was to be Radio Free Albemuth to Tim Powers. After PKD, passed away, the original book was published as Radio Free Albemuth. Radio Free Albemuth is now a completed film that is planned for release in 2012.

PKD pondered much about what is real and the nature of existence. PKD had a short, wild ride of a life and had some experiences (the Pink Light) he could not explain and spent years trying to make sense of his experiences.

The Valis Trilogy (Valis plus Divine Invasion plus Transmigration of Timothy Archer) make more sense when one is familiar with early Christian gnosticism. I recommend Elaine Pagel's The Gnostic Gospels. I found Divine Invasion one of the hardest PKD reads and Transmigration one of the easiest. Transmigration also came out after PKD passed on. The lead character is PKD's best female character ever. Maybe PKD finally integrated his dead twin sister?

I went through a Tom Robbins phase and Jitterbug Perfume was a favorite. Back in the mid 80's I had hiked alone to Paradise Lake at the base of King's Castle in the Marble Mountains Wilderness of NW California, the last part untrodden snow and the meadow and lake just opening up for the Spring. One could literally watch the snow retreat and snow lilies bloom over the course of an afternoon, dragonflies were in abundance, and a pair of black bears tumbled down the hill into my camp. I was glad to rapidly they were more interested in each other and the buzzing rites of Spring than me; a perfect time and place to read Jitterbug Perfume.

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Response to JitterbugPerfume (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 08:48 PM

2. definitely one to read more than once

i was an experienced pkd reader, having followed him my entire life, at the time valis came out but as the other poster says, radio free albemuth is a more accessible version of the same story if you are extremely perplexed and overwhelmed

the funny thing about the valis/radio free albeumuth story is that it is pretty much a thinly veiled true story, which probably explains why it is so difficult compared to most books in the genre

real life is by far more intricate and complicated than life on mars in 2525, hence, when he gets close to trying to tell what actually happened in his life, it gets REALLY weird

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Response to pitohui (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 03:17 AM

3. Re-read VALIS and Radio Free Albemuth in last 4 days.

Agree with Pitohui that Radio Free Albemuth is an easier read than VALIS and is also less theological and more political.

Both are based upon PKDs pink light experience in Feb/March 1974 and subsequent ponderings in PKD's Exegesis. According to the Sutin bio, VALIS was written in 1978 and published in 1981 so RFA must have been written in the 1977-1978 timeframe and was published in 1985.

The plot of RFA is to undermine and expose the USA's tyrannical President Ferris F Freemont with the help of VALIS. PKD is prescient in that in FFF (666) proceeds Ronald Reagan (also a 666) by several years and the Homeland Security state of the present (including extra-legal indefinite detention and summary killing for political activity). Aramchek is the Al Quiada of RFA.

IMO the Sutin bio is the best reference work on PKD but came out in 1984 (PKD died in 1982) and doesn't cover the novels posted after Transmigration except the manuscripts and when written. Also, even with Bladerunner, no one could have seen at the time the many adaptions of PKDs novels and short stories into movies.There was a page 1 WSJ article a decade or so ago that stated at that time that there were more PKD novels and stories on option for movies for more money than any author. RFA is a completed film that has been shown at several festivals and is scheduled for release in 2012.

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Response to JitterbugPerfume (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 04:22 PM

4. thanks for your replies

they are helpful!

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Response to JitterbugPerfume (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 12:56 PM

5. Valis and Radio Free Albemuth are like sister books

 

Check out the other, and it will explain a lot of VALIS

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