The heavenly city of the rational man, the optimistic man, falls down, leaving the real world exposed



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?,?,?,?,?,?(?){tr into French as AUX PAYS DE MILTON LUMKY}

{For the best bibliographic info in French goto: Thanks for the cover pix, Gilles}

PKDS-2    4

Milt Lumky Finds A Home. Another  of Philip K. Dick's unpublished   mainstream novels is moving towards publication.  Dragon Press, David Hartwell's small press (based in Pleasantville, New York), has contracted with the PKD Estate to publish IN MILTON LUMKY TERRITORY, a previously unpublished  Dick novel   written circa 1958. The story takes place in Boise, Idaho with some   extraordinary long-distance driving sequences in which our hero (Bruce Stevens) drives from Boise to San Francisco to Reno to Pocatello to Seattle and back to Boise in search of a good deal on some wholesale typewriters (gas was cheap in those days). He falls under the spell of an older woman and an even older paper salesman, Milt Lumky, and generally makes a  mess of things. There is an Author's Foreward which reads "This is  actually a very funny book, and a good one, two, in that the funny things that happen happen to real people who come alive. The ending is a happy one. What more can an author say? What more can he give?" Dragon plans to have the book out "sometime in 1984," and as always PKDS readers will be the first to know.
{Paul Williams}

TTHC    311:   MILTON LUMKY, meanwhile, is more of an extended shaggy dog, or (literally) travelling salesman story, detailing in its second half the trials and tribulations of eager young Bruce Stevens as he drives all over the West Coast, trying to make a deal on some Japanese import typewriters. The core of the novel, however, is in the relationship between Bruce and the woman he meets and marries in the novel's first half -- a woman who happens to have been his fifth grade school teacher. The halves of the book come together in the lonely, enigmatic presence, absence, and presence again of another itinerant, Milt Lumky, who Bruce, not quite guiltlessly, leaves behind in a motel room, sick and unable to move, en route to make that deal.


(...}While the Meredith sub-agent who read PUTTERING disliked it ("ironic comedy, but overwritten, distasteful") MILTON LUMKY got a a good enough notice ("Much of this is real and warm, if not inspired"). The tale the green cards tell is the same for both: steady and unanimous rejection. MILTON LUMKY's reader at Crown Publishing, Arthur C. Fields, put it this way:

   I don't know what to say about Philip Dick. He has extraordinary talent, tremendous facility, and acute penetration. He is able to lay bare the essential core of a situation in a few deft strokes. He has a flamboyance and an extraordinary eye for detail. The problem: His outlook on life, which is bleak and as chilling as any it has been my misfortune to come across.... What he does is to write in flat understatement a detailed analysis of the emptyness of everything  so that the writing takes on an emptiness itself... We have seen three of these now, and they all have the same vacuum-like outlook. 16

{fn 16:    Arthur C. Fields > SMLA, 4-16-59. (In "Editor's Letters")}

SL-38 59

IN MILTON LUMKY TERRITORY. Virtue fails. Ambition, without experience, falls to dust. The clever and neurotic win -- a woman who is unable to trust anyone else, another person's judgement, and a bitter salesman, Lumky. who begrudges a younger man his success in marrying a woman that he himself wanted. The heavenly city of the rational man, the optimistic man, falls down, leaving the real world exposed. No one can be trusted, because everyone is too fearful to behave honestly; no one is disinterested. Only in fantasy -- in Bruce's dreams -- is there a little white cottage with roses twining up it. Once a boob, always a boob. Once burned, twice burned; if you make a mistake it is a sign that you are one of the doomed. Better give up; leave the gaming table. Gambling is for professionals; the sucker will be taken to the cleaners. And it is your wife and your best friend who will do the fleecing, not some con man you never saw before; the enemy is right at hand.

{PKD > Eleanor Dimoff, Feb 1, 1960}{See: A TIME FOR GEORGE STAVROS for more from this letter . Complete text can be found in  PKDS Pamphlet #1 or THE SELECTED LETTERS OF PKD:1938-1971}

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