Lem on Dick (Philip K.)

Bookslut points to a Joshua Glenn article about Philip K. Dick. Glenn discusses, among other things, Stanislaw Lem’s perspective on Dick’s writing:

Stanislaw Lem, the first critic to take Dick seriously as a religious writer, writes that in

Dick’s books “monstrous” metaphysical dilemmas “go out into the street and become for every ordinary mortal [a] burning question.” Anyone who’s read half-a-dozen of Dick’s books in a short period of time knows how nauseatingly disorienting an experience that can be; as one critic puts it, he mixes and matches “metaphysical, ontological, anthropological, epistemological, ethical preoccupations with the nature of reality, appearances, knowledge and perception, the authentically human and the artificial, the everyday and the political, the existential and transcendent, the hopeful and the dystopian, the affirmative and entropic.” In a 1969 interview Dick praises science fiction because, he says, it presents its readers with “a great range of ‘as if’ views: The possession of these have the effect of making our minds flexible.” In Dick’s case, most readers would agree, this side-effect may have worked too well.


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