A) This letter is formal, in contrast to his other letters. I include it because, to his alter egos--"Horse Lover Fat" and "Thomas"--I would like to add "Lord Running Clam" for consideration. He wrote this, because he knew I was broke and desperately wanted to be divorced, something, like his writing the letter--addressed to me under a former name--that happened a l o n g time ago. This letter was an act of kindness, him throwing around the weight he perceived he had on my behalf. He was, amongst much else, a friend.

The letter below is interesting insofar as it lists his many correspondents ... Phil started writing me a month into his so-called "pink beam experience." He had different explanations for that--which continued forever after--and for doing so--once that I was "Diane Kennedy Pike," another time because of a drawing I sent that, Tessa wrote, zonked him for half a day--but, whatever the reason, he continued doing so for several years, intensely at times (part of my then 4-year-old's play was stopping everything to read her make-believe Philip K. Dick letters: he wrote asking me to ask her what those letters said).

From my personal situationally rooted perspective--talk about not "deus ex machina:" he was a person, an individual human, more precious than even ANWR's endangered grey spotted whales. How would you respond to someone whose words, in his novels, especially Ubik, had already changed how you saw the world? With respect and awe, like last summer's 7.9 earthquake. I am a fortunate woman, albeit of little wit.

I feel proud not because he wrote me not you (about 50 letters, 200 pages). I feel proud because he was human (which means so-sosapiens can't be all bad--one black swan being all that's needed to falsify a knowledge claim like "all swans are white").

The sentence you insert between the quotation marks is up to you: "IMHO, Philip K. Dick, who in one novel described a 'carpet depicting Richard Nixon's final ascent into heaven' and wrote, in a personal letter, 'we're devolving into Imperial Rome'--would have phreaked over even the idea of developing a single nationwide database whose rows are every K-12 kid in the country (under the little-known 'Performance-Based Data Management Initiative' part of the NCLB)" is one such sentence. He wrote in antiquarian watergate u.s.: contextual paranoia.

It is true, like Young said, that "the worst way to repay intellectual debts is to repeat the findings of one's mentors rather than extending, amending, and deepening them" (1998). However giving everyone else the chance to extend, amend, and deepen works for me (simulate reading his letters by reading them). I suspect Phil would have detested predatory corporate behavior, abuse of personal data--paranoid? not me--3rd-rate code, and predetermined choices: like as if every--any--searcher interested in what's known about what Heraclitus said about time will benefit from seeing a bust of Socrates (an unnecessarily bloated GIF of a picture of a bust whose final empirical form was doubtless influenced by its sculptor's image of Socrates)--and UHaul--like ENRON, a core of corporate rot, a Hebe vision of a "shiny jello of rot" (Clans) and Arnie Kott's breath reeking of "the teaming gubbish life" (Martian Time-Slip) ... Phil once wrote that he often recalled the future, which doesn't seem at all an odd statement now, given how much the present appears to be an afterthought, a postscript to what he'd already written, before, in the past--a long, long time ago. If anyone has this figured out, please let me know.

--claudia krenz, April 03.

letter from philip k. dick to claudiakrenz, circa 1975

B) I wrote the email below for Phil (in the sense of responding to, correcting an online "peer-reviewed" academic journal's personal attack on him. There was a "paranoid" streak that ran through the words of Philip K. Dick, a paranoia focused on Richard M. (remember the carpet!) Nixon's U.S.A. The academic journal article I objected to depicted Phil's genuine--empirically felt--paranoia about RMH's U.S.A. to mean that he was a "stool pigeon" who'd ratted on his friends to the fucking FBI. Point of fact: Philip K. Dick died before 1984 arrived. I bet he would have phreaked over the as-we-speak surveillance and data collection *humans worth more as data than sacs of nutrients on the nasdaq.* The article I objected to was substandard, no matter how low you set the bar for scholarship, its level of thinking what you'd expect in a power-pointless presentation.

 
 Tue Jul 10 17:42:59 2001 
To: hearst@linguafranca.com,edit@linguafranca.com
From:   <msdata@srv.net>
Subject: Cover story on Philip K. Dick (online _LinguaFranca_, 11(4))
 Message-Id: <f05010414b770f29ef970@[24.237.150.209]>

TO Mr. Andrew Hearst, Managing Editor 
      Mr. Jeffrey Kittay, Editor-in-Chief 

RE http://www.linguafranca.com/print/0105/cover.html

FROM Claudia Krenz, Ph.D., Nikiski, AK

I write to inquire whether your online journal has a forum similiar to the 
"Letters to the Editor"  section in your print version?  I ask because I 
found "Marxist Literary Critics are Following Me: How Philip K. Dick 
betrayed his academic admirers to the FBI" (Heer, J., 11 (4)) far below 
standard, no matter how low you choose to set the bar. The article makes ... 
allegations without substantiating them ...  contains a number of  inaccuracies ... 
and describes Phil with words like  "stool pigeon,"   "duplicity," "treachery," 
and "traitor."  If that doesn't count as character assassination, I don't 
know what does.

Shock, the academic journal editors responded to my email with silence, the sound of data being transferred behind secure socket layers to a single nationwide database. The link between Philip K. Dick's words and the U.S. federal government was not "ratting on friends:" it was "paranoia" about RMN's government devolving--empirically backward in real time forward, the decaying hotel in which Joe Chip heroically climbed the stairs--into an earlier Imperial Rome. Can the words of someone who always questioned be anything but helpful?

 
On another academic front, I discovered, over a decade after the fact, that the department in which I'd written my thesis, the first in the U.S. about him, had not forwarded mail addressed to me about it. So being attacked by academics is perhaps not surprising. Similarly, although dismaying, it's not surprising to see his name slimed (click here if you want to see an example).