Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick by Lawrence Sutin

By Lawrence Sutin

Divine Invasions is the definitive biography of 1 of America's maximum novelists and technological know-how fiction's maximum ambassador to literary audiences. Philip ok. Dick loosened the bonds of the style, eventually making his popularity as a literary author who occurred to put in writing speculative fiction, and profoundly influencing such writers as Pynchon, Delillo, David Foster Wallace, and Jonathan Lethem. Divine Invasions is being reissued to coincide with the autumn 2005 unlock of "A Scanner Darkly," a movie in response to Dick's novel of an identical identify.

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Unsentimental, without illusions, Nemerov's comic viewpoint presents man as hopelessly inept and at the same time unquenchably enduring. There has been some development in Nemerov's prose, though not so striking as in his poetry, but even in his first novel his salient qualities are apparent: humor, intellectual precision, fantasy, and a smooth, "classical" prose style. The Melodramatists (1949) is a wild first novel. Stylistically it is an odd but appealing mixture: a Trollope bitten by a Heller, perhaps, or vice versa, combining a slow, old-fashioned elegance of prose with comic, almost surrealistic events.

Wallace Stevens wrote that poetry makes our completely inexplicable lives acceptable; humor has this function in Nemerov's novels. " For example, the death of Susan Boyne in The Melodramatists is tragic and unexpected, and yet ludicrous; it has a lot in common with the death of Jerry in Albee's Zoo Story. Both are semi-suicides which take the action out of the realm of dialectic: death, at least, is real. Unsentimental, without illusions, Nemerov's comic viewpoint presents man as hopelessly inept and at the same time unquenchably enduring.

Johnson, W. R. "Review," Carleton Miscellany, 4:120-24 (Spring 1963). Kizer, Carolyn. "The Middle of the Journey," Poetry, 92:178-81 (December 1958). , Jr. "Renewal of Illusion," Christian Century, 80:84-85 (March 20, 1963). Kunitz, Stanley. "Many Exertions, Some Excellencies," New York Times Book Review, July 21, 1963. P. 4. 47 PETER M E I N K E Mizener, Arthur. "Spring Fiction," Kenyan Review, 19:484-93 (Summer J 957)Rosenthal, M. L. " 'False Wentletrap! Avaunt,' " Nation, 187:27-28 (August 16, 1958).

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