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Missive #26

The forecast low for this morning was 22° but I expected it to be in the teens. I wasn’t to be disappointed, the low was 17.8°. Tomorrow the forecast low is 25 so I could see another one in the teens but maybe ‘warmer’ than this morning.

I have an appointment tomorrow with RV City for them to coat Desperado’s roof. I hope I don’t drive all the way and then they tell me it is too cold to do .the coating. It will not surprise me if that is what happens.

Valis (stylized as VALIS) is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick, intended to be the first book of a three-part series. The title is an acronym for Vast Active Living Intelligence System, Dick’s gnostic vision of God. Set in California during the 1970s, the book features heavy auto-biographical elements and draws inspiration from Dick’s own investigations into his unexplained religious experiences over the previous decade.

This is the first book in the incomplete VALIS trilogy of novels, followed by The Divine Invasion. The planned third novel, The Owl in Daylight, had not yet taken definite shape at the time of the author’s death. Dick’s final novel,The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, builds on similar themes; Dick wrote: “the three do form a trilogy constellating around a basic theme.” — Edited Wikipedia

I love PKD, so don’t take this as bashing the guy. Initally PKD turned in a book called Radio Free Albemuth. His publisher suggested some edits, and PKD abandoned that book and started over from scratch. The result is this book, which has the same plot, but is a very, very different novel indeed. This customer review says what I have to say about the book. I was seriously considering NOT reading the other two books in the series until I read this review. I’ll now give The Divine Invasion a chance. I don’t think I’d particularly LIKE this book if I’d read it cold, but it suffered even more in comparison to “Albemuth,” which I’d read first. Compared to the coherent read that “Albemuth” was, Valis is a schizoid mess (As one critic called it). I grew so infuriated with it that I literally hurled it across the room at least twice, and were it not for my OCD I wouldn’t have finished it.

The only really good part about this is that it sets up the sequel The Divine Invasion, which is beautiful and lyrical and everything this book pretends to be, but isn’t. — Customer Review @ Amazon

I did find a quote from the book that made sense but there were not a lot of them . In the 1970s, Dick started to concern himself more directly with metaphysical and theological issues, experiencing a moment of revelation – or breakdown – in March 1974 which became the basis for much of his subsequent writing, in particular Valis, as he strove to make sense of what had happened. He died in 1982 at the age of 53.

I remembered something which the great physician of the Renaissance had discovered. Poisons, in measured doses, are remedies; Paracelsus was the first to use metals such as mercury as medication. For this discovery – the measured use of poisonous metals as medications – Paracelsus has entered our history books. There is, how ever, an unfortunate ending to the great physician’s life.
He died of metal poisoning.
So put another way, medications can be poisonous, can kill. And it can happen at any time.

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