Saturday, March 03, 2012

Revisiting Philip K Dick

now finished: VALIS by Philip K. Dick

Despite my occasional sigh-fi wall, Philip K. Dick made the top half of my A-to-Z Literary Blog Project authors, and I read a second book of his, VALIS.  Or is it Valis? It gets written both ways. The book didn't blow me away, but it was enjoyable. I recall that the first PKD book I read, Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, was greatest in its last third, and I think somewhere between the halfway to two-thirds-of-the-way points of this one would where I started to most enjoy it, too.

Really, though, in the end, what I enjoyed about this book were the pithy quotes that I find awesome both in and out of context. So, I decided to share here my  Top Eight Valis quotes. With no further ado:

"A lot can be said for the infinite mercies of God, but the smarts of a good pharmacist, when you get down to it it, is worth more."  -- p. 44

"Sherri resented every creature on earth, in order of proximity to her; that is the more she had to do with someone or something the more she resented him, or her or it." -- p. 89

"You can understand why Fat no longer knew the difference between fantasy and divine revelation -- assuming there is a difference, which has never been established." --p. 101

"Someone is playing a board game with time, someone we can't see. It is not God. That is an archaic name given to this entity by societies in the past, and by people now who are locked into anachronistic thinking. We need a new term, but what we are dealing with is not new." - p. 119

"...on Judgment Day and they're going to laugh at him like he laughs at us. That's what he deserves: a Great Judge exactly like himself.  That's not a bad theological idea," I said. "You find yourself facing yourself." -p.129

"It would not be in China, nor in India or Tasmania for that matter, that Horselover Fat would find the fifth Savior. Valis had shown us where to look: a beer can run over by a passing taxi. We had just saved Fat a lot of money, plus a lot of wasted time and effort, including the bother of obtaining vaccinations and a passport." - p. 158

"God can be good and terrible--not in succession--but at the same time.  This is why we seek a mediator between us and him; we approach him through the mediating priest and attenuate and enclose him through the sacraments. It is for our own safety; to trap him within confines which render him safe." - p 178

"It is amazing that when someone else spouts the nonsense you yourself believe you can readily perceive it as nonsense." --  p. 210

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