December 4, 2009

Anne Dick on Searching for PKD

Filed under: philip k. dick — ubikcan @ 11:56 pm

The Orlando Weekly (?) has some good quotes from Anne Dick on the reissue of her book, Search for Philip K. Dick, 1928-1982, which it calls the first PKD biography.

Here’s a selection:

Dick recently revisited the work: She has revised the original text and issued an affordable $17 paperback edition through her own Point Reyes Cypress Press. “It was accidental that I did it at this time. I was waiting and waiting for some poetry to come back from an editor and decided to use my waiting time go through Search and do a small edit. It turned into a major revision.” She added new material about her former husband and reorganized the text, making it more readable.

The project itself grew out of a need for answers. “[It] was an attempt to understand what had happened to our relationship at the time of our divorce,” she says. “Actually, writing things down turned out to be therapeutic. In words I could go back and feel more in control during those chaotic times.”

She found the attention flattering, even though her husband often portrayed women negatively. “I liked being Juliana Frink [from Man in the High Castle]. It was fun to watch the good-looking, bitchy French lady in Barjo [the 1992 French film adaptation of Confessions]. Phil didn’t paint positive female protagonists until he wrote The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, his last book.”

Dick revealed several arguably unflattering aspects of her ex-husband. “Many people know now how eccentric Phil’s life was. Many great writers had strange and unsettling lives.” She explored several of his positive traits as well. “He always tried to help people throughout his life. His books are full of light. I think most people are different and strange way down in their psyches, and in some people their unusual characteristics are closer to the surface.”

Anne Dick maintains relationships with several other members of the Phil Dick clan. “I get along fine with the ones I know, [like] Nancy [Philip’s fourth wife] and Isa [Philip’s daughter with Nancy]. I’m not in touch with Kleo [his second wife], although she did give me a good interview back in the early 1980s when I was writing Search. I don’t know Tessa [his fifth wife]. My daughter Laura [with Philip, who manages her father’s estate along with Isa] and I get along well, but when we get together we don’t talk about the Philip K. Dick estate. I only know what’s happening when I read David Gill’s blog, The Total Dick-Head


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