The reading group’s second meeting will take place this coming Thursday 3 April 2014. See the poster, at left. In this meeting, we’ve planned to actually begin the substance of the Exegesis, which begins on a page 3. Even so minor a detail as this may seem to possess some significance–both for the numerologists among us and the Dickians alike (as well as those who are both). After all, the number 3 is very significant for Christians: in addition to its many representations in the form of the holy trinity (of Father, Son and Spirit), the number is also said to represent “divine perfection” or “holiness” itself throughout the Bible.
The first pages of this month’s reading begin with a Folder 4, which contains notes on Dick’s Ubik, and then swiftly moves on to a range of letters that Dick wrote through 1974-1976. We well be finishing up on page 103, making this month’s read a relatively manageable 100 pages. For good measure, we will probably want to read up to page 106, where the letter to Claudia Bush of 25 February ends and the letter to her of 26 February begins.
Claudia Bush AKA Dr Claudia Krenz
A little background on Claudia Bush may be in order, since letters between Dick and her so dominate this month’s reading. As Ted Hand noted on his blog Philip K. Dick and Religion in 2011, Frank Bertrand, an independent Dick scholar, notes in a web forum that the
…group of so called “Dear Claudia” letters between Philip K. Dick and Claudia Bush (to become Claudia Krenz Bush, then Dr. Claudia Krenz, who did one of her two MA theses on PKD, of which I’ve written a review, and I happened to meet her in 2001 when I was in Alaska) took place while she was working on her MA thesis on PKD, and they both used the exchange of letters as a means to try out various concepts and ideas on each other, to get critical feedback about various philosophical issues. Do make for very intriguing reading, but we need publication with annotations of both sides of the exchange.
As Bertrand’s note makes clear, Bush–now Dr Claudia Krenz–was a long time researcher of Dick’s thought and work. Klenz’ website also contains more information about her, as well as a link to a project (seemingly since abandoned) that she began developing in 2005: The Philip K. Dick Words Project.
Bertrand’s review of Krenz’ MA thesis on Dick, which is titled “The Splintered Shards: Reality and Illusion in the Novels of Philip K. Dick,” and was submitted to Idaho State University of 1975, offers further detail on Krenz and her research. I’ve not found a copy of Bush/Krenz’s thesis online or on the academic databases, although it could be out there somewhere.
More about Claudia Bush and Dick’s correspondence will no doubt be discussed during the meeting. We look forward to seeing you there.
Please email Chris if you need to obtain copies of this month’s reading, or if you have any questions about the reading group.