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August 6, 2011 4:14 PM   Subscribe

For sale: Philip K Dick's Bible, with handwritten annotations.
posted by scalefree (47 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
If I was rich, I'd be all over this.
posted by adamdschneider at 4:23 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


want but cant.
posted by clavdivs at 4:23 PM on August 6, 2011


I do love annotations in books, by anyone. Lets see a kindle do that...er.
posted by clavdivs at 4:24 PM on August 6, 2011




Condition: Slight spine cock, bookstore label, else very good.

And there's writing in it? EFF. THAT. I'll just buy a new one.

And if I were rich, I'd probably just buy one of those weird, pipe-smoking robot teachers from Martian Time-Slip.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 4:26 PM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]




<Indiana Jones>That belongs in a museum!</Indiana Jones>
posted by uosuaq at 4:31 PM on August 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


PKD was basically schizophrenic*; among other things he had extended hallucinations of living as a first century Christian. Here's another explanation of the influence religion & Christianity in particular had on his life.

*either that or we really are living in Black Iron Prison.
posted by scalefree at 4:39 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


So if I'm reading the auction correctly - it has one partially filled page of notes, and it isn't really that heavily used or annotated. It's not like he kept it at hand like a totem or used it as a pillow for months or years on end scribbling endless rants revealing deep insight into, say, the VALIS trilogy or something.

Which probably rules out smoking or licking it to see if anything interesting happens.
posted by loquacious at 4:41 PM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah but it's got instructions for casting out demons. Written by Philip K Dick. That's a mighty powerful page all by itself.
posted by scalefree at 4:46 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Scalefree and twoleftfeet, thanks for the links. I hadn't read either of them before.
posted by immlass at 4:47 PM on August 6, 2011


Yeah but it's got instructions for casting out demons

Meh. Obviously doesn't work or "Total Recall" would have never happened.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:49 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


*either that or we really are living in Black Iron Prison.

or both!
posted by ian1977 at 4:49 PM on August 6, 2011


Just as William Blake condensed the coming horrors of industrialism into his image of "Satanic mills," Dick's Black Iron Prison imaginatively captured the "disciplinary apparatus" of power analyzed by historian Michel Foucault. Demonstrating that prisons, mental institutions, schools, and military establishments all share similar organizations of space and time, Foucault argued that a "technology of power" was distributed throughout social space, enmeshing human subjects at every turn. Foucault argued that liberal social reforms are only cosmetic brush-ups of an underlying mechanism of control. As Dick put it, "The Empire never ended."

I hate it when they're right.
posted by ian1977 at 4:59 PM on August 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


seller has a rating of "0." nevermind.
posted by reverend cuttle at 5:09 PM on August 6, 2011


seller has a rating of "0." nevermind.

He also lists well known speculative fiction author Tim Powers, who is apparently a PKD collector, in the provenance. It turns out that someone I know is actually interested (which I didn't know when I posted), has dealt with him in the past & is frantically searching for his email address for verification.
posted by scalefree at 5:33 PM on August 6, 2011


spoilers

its the prison one
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:35 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I imagine it is (or purports to be) item 215 here. Interesting that the two sheets of paper aren't mentioned in the ebay listing.
posted by GeckoDundee at 5:54 PM on August 6, 2011


For posterity:
PHILIP K. DICK'S PERSONAL COPY OF THE BIBLE WITH HIS INSCRIPTIONS

In 1974, science fiction legend Philip K. Dick experienced a tremendous religious vision and revelation. Renowned cartoonist R. Crumb even illustrated this formative episode in Dick's life (The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick, which you may find online). Others have written about Dick's religious transformation, but none, to my knowledge, has consulted this volume: Dick's inscribed copy of THE NEW ENGLISH BIBLE: NEW TESTAMENT (Oxford University Press, 1963). On the front flyleaf, Dick has made handwritten notations regarding the resurrection, gnosticism, and the casting out of devils. (I am reproducing this page only partially to prevent copying.) An extremely valuable Dick artifact, particularly given the cost of early Dick first editions; potentially a cornerstone in any Dick / science fiction collection. Provenance: Ex-Powers, ex-Lopez.

Condition: Slight spine cock, bookstore label, else very good.
And the images.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:01 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


DOES THIS ANSWER THE QUESTION: DID MOSES DREAM OF BURNING SHEEP!?
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:14 PM on August 6, 2011


It would be a more authentic piece of Dick memorabilia if it were a forgery.
posted by octothorpe at 6:20 PM on August 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think you mean it would be more authentic if the buyer discovered it was a forgery and then later discovered that the forgery had actually been created by a colony of ants walking through ink and across sheets of paper in response to messages beamed directly into their brains by the radio signals emanating from a loose filling in Philip K Dick's mouth.
posted by GeckoDundee at 6:24 PM on August 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Except the ants are actually cybernetic, and are the fillings in his teeth.
posted by loquacious at 6:26 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


On the one hand: some random copy of the New Testament, with some scribblings on the endpapers by a crazy person;

On the other hand: PKD's BIBLE!!!!!!11!!!
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 6:26 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would be a more authentic piece of Dick memorabilia if it were a forgery.

I think they call that Dildo memorabilia.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:42 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]




I like to think of Dick as less of a Schizophrenic, and more of one of the last genuine prophetic visionaries that America has ever produced, and even more tragic, because his work didn't found a religion. He's like Smith w/o Young.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:37 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like to think of Dick as less of a Schizophrenic, and more of one of the last genuine prophetic visionaries that America has ever produced, and even more tragic, because his work didn't found a religion. He's like Smith w/o Young.

Give it some time.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:46 PM on August 6, 2011


maybe, but maybe hollywood has made that less than possible...
posted by PinkMoose at 8:56 PM on August 6, 2011


Well. As Mid-Eastern music happened to be playing in the background, I read Red Loop's link to Crumb's interpretation of his spiritual and synchronic experiences and was deeply moved, having read almost all of his novels and many of his short stories.

The other two favorite writers of mine are Kafka, who needs no introduction, and Haruki Murakami, whose similarities to Dick's work are many, but do not include the Judeo-Christian elements, much.

The line between mental illness and spiritual revelation are well-recognized and much disputed.
When someone produces a body of work as PKD has, anybody with common sense has to acknowledge that that line is thick and gray. Dick was a visionary in more ways than we can count.


Kafka was sui generis, and saw the future by sensing the present. Murakami is so supremely understated...stylistically, similar to Dick.

Anyway, thanks for bringing up PKD. He is one of the few authors whose works I have read more than once over the last forty years,
posted by kozad at 8:58 PM on August 6, 2011


My preferred analogy is William Blake: his art is deeply eccentric and personal, and his contemporaries thought he was nuts, but now he's considered a visionary genius. I hope PKD's work survives the transition from cult to canon; it's got some obvious deficiencies, but it's so unique and human and expressive of its context that it deserves to be more than a footnote.

I was amused to see this entry in the catalogue that GeckoDundee linked to:

214. Cancelled Check. May 5, 1976. From Powers to Dick, for $50. Signed by Powers on the front and inscribed by Dick on the back, "For deposit only." Used by Dick to open an independent checking account when separating from his fifth wife. Fine.

On the one hand, it amazes me that this sort of thing shows up in bookseller catalogues. On the other hand, I would totally get a kick out of owning a cheque from Tim Powers to PKD.
posted by twirlip at 9:19 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


PKD's career is worth following, because it goes from Twilight-zone boring to bleeding-all-over-the-edge astounding. Early in his career, he's all traditional sci-fi short-fiction writer, carefully nursing an absurdist twist.

Then, all of a sudden, things change. Bill Borroughs lends him an insect-typewriter, a pink mist speaks from on high, whatever. He starts talking about pure-play fundie epistemology... how do I know what I know? Cogito ergo sum? Well, what if I'm nuts? What if I'm sane, but the thing dreaming me is nuts, and we're the same thing?

Considering he only started writing about this stuff when a pink mist started to drop in to say hello on regular occasions, I'd be interested in what his bible annotations at the time had to say.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:24 PM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I do love annotations in books, by anyone. Lets see a kindle do that...er.


One of my favorite things to do back when i lived in a town with a really good used book store was to look for books with writing in them of subjects i was at least a little interested in. My most 'interesting' find was a physics book, early 1900s, with 'examples' in cartoon. Sounds great? The cartoons were all very racist black caricatures having bad things happening to them, like bricks to the head and such. All in a similar style to Dr Seus. I really should scan those in someday.
posted by usagizero at 9:28 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd be interested in what his bible annotations at the time had to say.

It looks as though the first image filthy light thief links to shows half of all the "annotations". That's just a few notes on the flyleaf. That and the mention in Lopez's catalogue of inserted sheets of paper suggest that Dick didn't like writing in books. So no rich source of marginalia here. The notes that he took on the other hand could be very interesting. I wonder who has those now.
posted by GeckoDundee at 9:37 PM on August 6, 2011


Now I have this image in my brain of some douche-bag Hollywood producer giving "notes" on the Bible. And, yes, I know that PKD has nothing to do with Hollywood. It just popped into my brain.

Genesis - Who's the protagonist here? Tighten!
Psalms - needs some hip hop
Revelation - Kind of a downer, can we cut?

(and like that)
posted by Bonzai at 10:00 PM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Now I have this image in my brain of some douche-bag Hollywood producer giving "notes" on the Bible.

"If the Holy Bible was printed as an Ace Double", (like a lot of PKD's early stuff was), "it would be cut down to two 20,000-word halves with the Old Testament retitled as ‘Master of Chaos’ and the New Testament as ‘The Thing With Three Souls.’ "
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:30 PM on August 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


William Gibson:
I'll write some really crazy shit in your Bible for *five* grand. Paypal.
posted by grouse at 10:43 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'll write some really crazy shit in your Bible for *five* grand. Paypal.

Yeah I could do that too but it wouldn't be written from the throes of genuine madness. That's what people are willing to pay for, the authentic connection to other worlds. Directions for casting out demons take on a whole new weight & meaning when they're written by someone who was plagued by them & probably used it to cast them out.
posted by scalefree at 7:19 AM on August 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's what people are willing to pay for, the authentic connection to other worlds.

Part of it must also be the connection to a famous science fiction author.
posted by grouse at 7:39 AM on August 7, 2011


Part of it must also be the connection to a famous science fiction author.

If that's all you want you're welcome to take Gibson up on his offer.
posted by scalefree at 11:02 AM on August 7, 2011


What is a spine cock?
posted by slobebop at 11:58 AM on August 7, 2011


No authenticated providence, no certifications of authenticity, and no eBay history. I call shenanigans.
posted by dejah420 at 3:34 PM on August 7, 2011


What is a spine cock?

Something women try to avoid.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 4:03 PM on August 7, 2011


This is beyond relevant to my interests, and if it's not real that would be even more appropriate.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:12 PM on August 7, 2011


beyond relevant

My brain imploded trying to parse that literally.
posted by ian1977 at 7:05 PM on August 7, 2011


If that's all you want you're welcome to take Gibson up on his offer.

Well, I want it but I don't want it $5,000 much.
posted by grouse at 7:27 PM on August 7, 2011


That's what people are willing to pay for, the authentic connection to other worlds. Directions for casting out demons take on a whole new weight & meaning when they're written by someone who was plagued by them & probably used it to cast them out.

Proof of actual demons and authentic connections to other worlds, as opposed to common or garden mental illness, would indeed be worth quite a lot.
posted by rodgerd at 3:31 AM on August 8, 2011


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