Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 09:21:55 -0700 (PDT)
From: cal godot 
Subject: Re: [PKD] TTOTA: Ch 1-2

Wow, Joe beat me to it! I was going to post an opening message for the group
read today, with a reminder that we may all be using different editions of the
novel, so page numbers may or may not be helpful. (I cannot resist decades of
proper schooling, so I'm using page numbers. For the record, I use the standard
Vintage edition, which was first published in 1991.)

--- Joe Morris  wrote:

> Chapter 1 begins with Angel Archer attending a radio-mystic/philosopher's
> talk in the bay area.  The talk and John Lennon's death that morning
> allow PKD to meditate on the 1960's and philosophy in general as
> we get to know Angel and her complex life.

These are also the two central themes of the novel - mysticism and death. John
Lennon is a touchstone for both, and his death is a bit of foreshadowing: a
cultural icon brought down, much as Bishop Archer becomes (not to mention

Lennon was the eternal questioner in the Beatles. Even beyond George Harrison,
who pretty much latched onto 'Krishna-ism' (sorry, don't know what to properly
call it!) and stayed that spiritual course. Lennon was a gadfly, a wrench in
the works - "the only *real* artist in the group" a friend of mine is fond of
saying. His death is sudden, without warning, and comes at a time when he seems
to have found some "peace" with life.

Lennon's assassination symbolizes the "death of the 60s" for many. It clearly
carries this sort of weight for PKD and Angel Archer. "I feel like I'm back in
the Sixties, still married to Jefferson Archer." But Angel resists nostalgia,
recalling that she "never cared for the Beatles" and concluding that Rubber
Soul is "insipid" (p. 2). Angel displays this same tenacious skepticism when it
comes to mystical matters - she questions her own questioning/seeking.

> It's off to a roaring start

The opening to me is PKD at his most masterful. You know Angel Archer before
the first page is turned.

> Questions I had:
>   Is the Episcopal Church a "catholic church" as the Bishop says?
>     Do they have Jesus on the cross in their church?

"Catholic with a small c," as my Eastern Orthodox pal reminds me often. (He
should join this discussion, as I think he lurks on this list.)

An Episcopal churches I once frequented (they had free food & movies on Sunday
nights, which were both a boon in my impoverished college years) follow what I
call the Crucifixion Routine: for the majority of the year, the cross hangs
empty. This is because, well, the cross hangs empty, Jesus defeated death, etc.
At some point during Holy Week they will do the stations of the cross, at the
end of which they will hang the crucifix with the suffering Christ. Of course
he pulls a vanishing act come Easter Sunday. 

I'll add more later. 

yr pal cal

All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
            --Edgar Allen Poe

Do You Yahoo!?
LAUNCH - Your Yahoo! Music Experience