News from the First Meeting

The group’s first meeting of 11 March was a terrific success. In addition to the great discussion of all things PKD, a lot of organising was done, and we now can present our reading schedule for 2014.

Date

Reading

3 April 2014 The Exegesis, pages 3-103
1 May The Exegesis, pages 104-208
5 June The Exegesis, pages 211-311
3 July The Exegesis, pages 312-444
7 August The Exegesis, pages 451-551
4 September The Exegesis, pages 552-670
2 October The Exegesis, pages 673-773
6 November The Exegesis, pages 774-900
4 December Exegesis wrap-up; Reading TBC.

Meetings will take place on the first Thursday of each month, from 5:30pm-7pm. The room that we have access to through the University of NSW is fantastic; there is a web-connected iMac and a data projector for our use, and the room itself is very modern, and a great size.

Talking ‘Things’

The first edition of Time Out of Joint: a great 'thing' in itself (to paraphrase Kant).

The first edition of Time Out of Joint: a great ‘thing’ in itself (to paraphrase Kant).

Three members of the group are thinking of submitting a panel abstract at the end of this month for a conference that will take place at the University of Sydney in July (July 1-4) 2014 called The Prosaic Imaginary: Novels and the Everyday 1750-2000. More details about this conference are available at its Facebook page. For our panel, we would like to focus on the various ‘things’ in Dick’s novels, including such devices as the (scarcely visible) radios in Time Out of Joint, and the various psychiatric devices, including Dr. Smile, in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, and other ‘things’ of this nature. In this spirit, we also were interested to discuss Lorraine Daston’s work (Things That Talk, Biographies of Scientific Objects), and Mike Jay’s work, including his 2011 book The Influencing Machine.

Navigating the Exegesis

One of the interesting observations that emerged in Meeting 1 was the possibility of navigating the Exegesis through identifying the grey marks that appear on the book’s fore-edge. These grey marks appear because of the ‘fish’ design that appears on the pages that mark the beginning of each of the work’s ‘Parts.’ The Exegesis is composed of four Parts, roughly of about 200 pages in length each. By putting the book on its side, readers can quickly find each of these four Parts. This is helpful, as the book itself does not offer page numbers for these Parts in the contents page. The work itself is somewhat difficult to navigate, as it is ordered by ‘Folders’ that are numbered, but they are sometimes out of numerical order as well as chronological order. We will write more on this in future posts.

The group decided it would be too laborious and possibly less fruitful to deal with a full Part each meeting, so we have divided the reading up into 100 page blocks. If the group proceeds in accordance with the above schedule, we shall have read the Exegesis — quite thoroughly — by December 2014.

Facebook: Everyone’s favourite simulacrum

Speaking of Facebook, the Philip K. Dick Reader’s Group Facebook Page is now up. Get liking! As always, please get in touch if you would like to join the group’s email list.

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