“Something is wrong. I don’t mean with you or me or with any person. I mean in general." --Ragle Gumm

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mars Revisited

A reader not disturbed reading Martian Time-Slip, has missed something. That loss was my experience during my first read, but the book kept nagging at me and eventually I succumbed to its simmering beauty and returned to characters I had somehow come to love, despite their tortured existences and alien lives. I know Jack Bohlen. I love Jack Bohlen. I know Manfred Steiner. I am terrified by Manfred Steiner, whose absolute existence is not challenged by the misbegotten life he has lived.

When I write about PKD, I breathe the air of the world he creates. My bounty, my bane. In writing the previous post, I had sleepless nights, paced the floor, felt nausea, had headaches and soon enough felt the need to finish it off and get outside even though the clouds hung low over the house. At least they were my clouds and not the stark landscape of the Martian reality, the sands of which had begun seeping under my backdoor.

I like it that way, though. Verisimilitude is not for the intellect alone.

Having showered off the Martian sands for a quick respite, I have felt the need to revisit my landing site and tidy up the post so that it is clearer and expresses my intellectual sense of things Martian as well as the slippage in consciousness I experience when I read the story.

Anyone who chooses to read or re-read this book can search for the fissures in the storytelling. Veteran Dick readers should know by now that fissures in Dick's tales are not necessarily structural flaws but parts of a landscape upon which readers are urged to tread lightly. --John Lentz


  1. The one aspect of Philip K. Dick's novel Martian Time-Slip that I think gets most overlooked is the Bleekmen. Who are they? What are they? What is their function in the novel? And just think of the various connotative implications of their name.

  2. Hi Frank, Your query has inspired me to blog the Bleekmen. They are the mystery of the story, what makes it impossible to pull it all together. I have some ideas. Give me a couple of days.