Friday, December 01, 2006

The Giddies

By now—week's end!—it's old news that Philip K. Dick will be given the Library of America treatment, à la earlier pulp divinity H.P. Lovecraft, and that PKD champion/sage Jonathan Lethem will edit and write the endnotes. Good news!

Last week at the library I thumbed through an appealing little supplement put out by the Virginia Quarterly Review, in which novelists wove fictions around earlier fictioneers. I only had time to read one—and it was Lethem's excellent "Phil in the Marketplace." (It made me think: a PKD biopic wouldn't be a bad idea...) The piece can be read here.

My favorite bits are the invented Dickian titles that Lethem concocts:

The writer spins the rack. It’s all his old stuff, as though it had been sitting there for twenty years. Death of an Anti-Watcher. We Can Wrap It For You To Go. The Variable Feasibility of Perkus Tooth. Celestial Crap-Assessor.

Anthony Powell did a similar job (see here) with Julian MacLaren-Ross, who was an inspiration for the character of X. Trapnel, the most memorable fictitious title being Dogs Have No Uncles.

Other examples?

UPDATE: What about books you wished existed? Read Dizzyhead Jenny's marvelous new story. "The Other Amazon," up at Clarkesworld!


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