VALIS & Later Novels: A Maze of Death / VALIS / The Divine Invasion / The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

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This volume, the third in The Library of America amassing the books of Philip K. Dick --after Four Books of the 1960s and Five Books of the 1960s and 70s--brings together four novels from the next period of Dick's career, when spiritual revelation, always a part of his own fiction, turned into a dominant and irresistible motif. Here, Dick goes past the limitations of science fiction, making the functions accountable because of his growing reputation as an irreplaceable American visionary. Mysteriously summoned into the world Delmak-O, a motley group of colonists tries to live together in a brand new world. On the waythey have to face not just one, but also the essence of this God--or even"Mentufacturer"--that decides their fate. Dick's life has been changed entirely by a psychic split he afterwards known as"the occasions of 2-3-74": his own awareness of normal reality dropped off, and he underwent that which he came to think was a mysterious revelation. The writings of the rest of the profession try in a variety of ways to comprehend and clarify this visionary encounter. In VALIS (1981)--sometimes near some memoir of what he went --he creates a harrowing self-portrait of a man facing a"Vast Active Living Intelligence System," torn between conflicting interpretations of what may be gnostic lighting or psychological collapse. From The Divine Invasion (1981), the lifetime of a lone off-world colonist is hijacked by a neighborhood alien, who proves to be the Yahweh of Judeo-Christian tradition. Returning to Earth along with his pregnant wife in tow, Dick's hapless Herb Asher finds himself thrust into the center of an apocalyptic war between Good and Evil. Conceived as a sequel to VALIS, the publication is a potent exploration of divine revelation and its human effects. The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982), Dick's final book, is by turns a theological puzzle story, a roman à clef, along with a starkly disillusioned portrait of modern California life. Based loosely upon the livelihood of Bishop James Pike, Dick's close friend and also a kindred soul, the publication's title character gives his comfy place at the church hierarchy at a dreadful quest for enlightenment. Hunting an ultimate and shocking truth behind the sacred texts of his faith, he leaves behind a wounded world--a universe his daughter-in-law, one of Dick's most lovingly delineated characters, must start to piece together.

Brief about Author Philip K. Dick