THE DIVINE INVASION         review



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

Although dead and in cryonic suspension, herb Asher was having his own problems. Very close to the Cry-Labs, Incorporated, warehouse a fifty-thousand-watt FM transmitter had been located the year before. For reasons unknown to anyone the cryonic equipment had begun picking up the powerful nearby FM signal. Thus Herb Asher, as well as everyone else in suspension at Cry-Labs, had to listen to elevator music all day and all night, the station being what it liked to call a "pleasing sounds" outfit.

  Vote for your Worst PKD Story! At some point in FDO you asked what the most boring PKD novel is. THE DIVINE INVASION wins that contest for me hands down. I would prefer reading VULCAN'S HAMMER or another minor work any day. VALIS is as far as I go. --Eric  Johnson, Wash D.C.

PKDS-2 5:

"Chains Of Air, Web Of Aethyr" (Stellar #5, 1980)... was written into THE DIVINE INVASION but has quite a different flavor on its own.

PKDS-2 7:

VALIS was actually the beginning of a trilogy, the second part being DIVINE INVASION. The third book THE OWL IN DAYLIGHT, was never written... (Letter from Tessa Dick)

PKDS-2 7:

Ursula LeGuin called him the Quiet One, as it seems he produced books of remarkable talent. No big hoopla, just exit, stage left, when the job is over: "The work is complete; the final word is here. He has been transplanted and is alive." Anyone who could write that as the lead-in quote for THE DIVINE INVASION had it all planned out. (Letter from David Seburn, Ontario)

PKDS-4 7:

The theme which runs most consistently through Phil's work is that of Parsifal, the "wise fool". The young man who is too innocent to connive, ends up the survivor in Phil's scripts. He may be merely young, or he may be actually handicapped, either mentally or physically. But he is the hero who, unklike Joe Chip, is not moved by passion or greed in the same way as more "mature" people. Joe Chip, in UBIK, comes close to innocence, but falls when he goes to his room with a woman other than his girlfriend. The Parsifal character is seen in CONFESSIONS OF A CRAP ARTIST, keeping a journal -- the journal, by the way, is the novel. He appears in DIVINE INVASION as Manny (Emmanual), in VALIS as Horselover Fat searching for the saviour. This character is the real pivot point about which his work revolves. The rest is window dressing. But what beautiful window dressing! (Letter from Tessa Dick)

PKDS-4 11:

The Missouri Review, Vol. VII.#2 (Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, 1984) contains discussion of THE DIVINE INVASION amongst other PKD works by Douglas Mackey. Address: TMR, Dept. of English, 321 Arts & Science, University of Missouri. Columbia, MO 65211. $4

PKDS-5 13:

(KWJ:) I think there were about three different periods. There was that period where he wrote very fast without revision, simply because of economic pressure, when he was up in the Bay Area. That accounted for that period. Then there was a later period in the 70s which would include FLOW MY TEARS and A SCANNER DARKLY, books like that, where he was no longer under that economic pressure, and he did go through drafts and drafts of his books. I can't say for sure, but I would have been very much surprised if there were more than one or tw drafts of VALIS, and, uh --
. (KWJ:) Yeah, Son Of VALIS, or VALIS Regained, which was Phil's original title for it. I would be surprised because when Phil got around to the point of writing those books, he wrote them in a period of a few days. That is not taking into account the years and years of thinking about the material that's in the books. But when it came to actually physically sitting down at a typewriter and typing a book that started out with a title page saying VALIS and going straight through to the end, he did that very quickly. When he did it, he reverted to his old work habits, when he did work under a time and economic pressure. Also I think its somewhat internally consistent, just looking at the books. They weren't done on a draft by draft basis. Structurally the books are very poor.
. (AW:) They ramble.
. (KWJ:) They ramble, and they go from one thing to another, and its just one idea after another popping into Phil's head. That doesn't say anything about the quality of the ideas. But just in terms of a structure, this may be something that I think about the books that nobody else thinks about the books because I tend to be a structuralist in my approach to writing. To me, I think its internally consistent to look at the books as just being a straight through unrevised draft of ideas Phil has ben working on in another form for a long time. In terms of the actual dramatic content of the book, characters and so forth, I can't believe that those last couple of books were done draft by draft.
... For him an outline of a novel was strictly a selling device; a device to sell the book to an editor. Once that was accomplished and he had the contract he'd throw the outline away.
(AW:) He'd sit at the typewriter and crank it out...
(from: The PKDS Interview with K.W. Jeter conducted by Andy Watson)

PKDS-5 14:

(a continuation of the above interview)

. (AW:) This notion of the minimum hypothesis as a balance to the baroque theorizing is the essence of VALIS. What a lot of readers come away with though is that Philip K. Dick had a genuine theophany. He was contacted by God!
. (KWJ:) Oh, yeah, yeah... Especially after reading THE DIVINE INVASION I was sick of the whole subject matter. I thought, "Well, if Phil wants to believe these things, and if it makes him happy to believe these things, then okay. It's fine. Maybe that's what religion is for. Opiate of the masses, and here is somebody who cooked up his own individual opiate."
(AW:) I felt like DIVINE INVASION lacked the self-effacing humour that made VALIS so wonderful.

PKDS-8 9:

"Chains Of Air, Web Of Aethyr" served as the basis for the first few chapters of THE DIVINE INVASION; it was definitely written before Phil submitted the outline and got a contract for that book (so novel follows story rather than vice versa). The original title was "The Man Who Knew How To Lose."

PKDS-11 5:

Mondadori in Italy has bought the rights to ... DIVINE INVASION...

pkds-13 14:

David G. Hartwell was PKD's editor on THE DIVINE INVASION among others.

PKDS-25 19:

Vintage Books to issue PKD titles. ... Eight years of effort on the part of Russel Galen at the Scott Meredith Literary Agency have come to fruition with the announcement that Vintage Books, probably the most prestigious literary paperback publisher in the U.S., will be reissuing six Dick novels, with the possibility of more to follow if these do well.
. The first books to be released will be the so-called Valis Trilogy, VALIS, THE DIVINE INVASION and THE TRANSMIGRATION OF TIMOTHY ARCHER, in seperate trade paperback volumes ($10 each), tentatively scheduled for publication in July 1991. The other three Dick novels covered by this agreement are still to be named. I believe that this is the first time Vintage has published any science fiction (with the possible exception of non-genre works like Zamyatin's We).
. What is hoped for is that the books will attract new readers beyond the SF genre and the existing Dick coterie, and that they will be kept in print (mass market paperbacks, as Dick readers well know, tend to come and go like the tide).
. "The idea was to accumulate a large number of major Dick works," Galen told Locus, "so that a publisher could buy them as a group. With the reversion two months ago of a large cache of former Doubleday titles, we finally made our move. Vintage was the only publisher we approached."

PKDS-26 9:

The first Vintage trade paperback editions of PKD will be available in July. VALIS, THE DIVINE INVASION, THE TRANSMIGRATION OF TIMOTHY ARCHER ($10 each). This should do a lot to increase the availability and visibility of Dick's work in the United States, particularly in terms of attracting the attention of non-SF readers. The next three Vintage titles will be, A SCANNER DARKLY, UBIK THE 3 STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH . All three are scheduled for December 1991.

PKDS-28 14:

Tim Powers collection: ... the top copy manuscript of VALIS REGAINED (THE DIVINE INVASION, inscribed, plus the carbon copy manuscript of the same book, also inscribed...

PKDS-29 5:

"Three By PKD: VENOM"

Sept 29, 1981
Venom Magazine
POBox 11626
San Francisco
CA 94101.

Dear Venom

That curious wasp Charles Platt says that you will print book reviews in which the author pans his own work. Can I do that please? I have no motive except, well, I'd like to see if I can do it. So enclosed you will find my attack on THE DIVINE INVASION, my most recent novel. If, as Platt says, you are secretly financed by David Hartwell, this may prove embarassing, since Hartwell published this novel. Anyhow, as a challenge it fascinates me.
Be sure to let me know if the enclosed review is satisfactory and will see publication.

Philip K. Dick


Dear Phil --

Chipdip K. Kill's review of THE DIVINE INVASION will be in Venom #3. Meanwhile here is a copy of Venom #2 for your amusement. By the way, we agree that the review is one of the funniest we've ever read. Best. Venom.

{Editor's note (Paul Williams): Venom 3 was never published... David Hartwell says the publication was not financed by him, though he "certainly encouraged" its editors, who remain anonymous.}

{Chipdip K. Kill's review of THE DIVINE INVASION can be found in PKDS-29}

I had the strangest, most weird sensation for just a second, there," Asher said, "It's gone now. As if this had all happened once before."

Kevin Lyons on PKD:

THE DIVINE INVASION (1981) saw Dick taking the next logical step {after VALIS}, with a newborn Martian colonist being returned to earth by his parents as the new Messiah.Sadly, the book is virtually unreadable. A third non-sf novel, THE TRANSMIGRATION OF TIMOTHY ARCHER (1982), saw Dick still in the theological territory but keeping a better sense of literary balance.

"What bothers you the most?" Elias Tate said. "The fact that Yah was driven off Earth, that he was defeated by the Adversary, or that you have to go back to Earth carrying him inside you?"

She laughed. "Leaving my station."

IPOV 62fn:

VALIS REGAINED, PKD's original title for THE DIVINE INVASION (1981)

IPOV 194:

I just now looked over DIVINE INVASION. As I recently realised about VALIS, the dialectic that is the inner life of God -- as revealed to Boehme & explicated later by Schelling -- & commented on by e.g. Tillich -- is presented as the very bases of the book. In VALIS it is expressed dramatically as world-order in which the irrational confronts the "bright" or rational, designated (properly) Logos. In DI this same dialectic reappears & this time is stated to be the two sides of God (rather than world order; that is, in DI it is now correctly seen to be within God himself!): it is now (in DI) between Emmanuel who is the terrible, destroying "solar heat" warring side -- & Zina who is loving, playful, tender, associated with bells & flowers; & what unifies the two at last (by the way; it is she who takes the lead in restoring memory & hence unification: Emmanuel is the side that has forgotten -- i.e., is impaired; she has not & is not impaired) is play. She plays, & Emmanuel has a secret desire to play.

So both novels basically deal with the dialectic that I experienced as the nature of Valis & which I construe to be the dynamic inner life of God. If you superimpose both books then you get this equation: (see IPOV 195 for equation)

Really, then DI simply continues the fundamental theme of VALIS -- but does not seem to do so -- not unless one perceives this theme & what it is (the dialectic that is the dynamic inner life of God). DI is not so loose a sequel to VALIS as it might seem (by in the shift from Gnosticism, the present, realism, to Kabbala, the future, that which would not and could not come with POT... {1981 EXEGESIS}

IPOV 199:

In a way I better depict the 3-74 theophany (of Valis) in DI than in VALIS itself. In any case if you superimpose the two novels it is there -- precisely what I lacked when I wrote POT... {1981 EXEGESIS}

IPOV 239

It was not up to the Baptist to teach the xtian kerygma but, rather, to announce the imminant coming of the long-awaited messiah. There is in VALIS a vague kerygma but it is only guesswork (what Sophia says, & she dies anyhow): the Saviour is still yet to come, at the end ov VALIS, explicitly, as if she, too, like the Baptist, only prepares the way "for one Creator." ("Who is yet to come.") Both novels are essentially anticipatory! Even DI Since in DI YHWH has come but has not disclosed to the world his presence (yet). {1981}

"There is an abomination out there," Cardinal Harms said. "Exodus 22, verse seventeen. 'Thou --'"

"Big Noodle won't let it reach Earth. It must have been intercepted at one of the outer rings of Immigration."

{The following is from Ken Lopez, Bookseller Online catalog, May 1997. As far as I know this ms is still for sale}

5. Valis Regained. (Published by Simon & Schuster in 1981 as The Divine Invasion). Three manuscripts. Carbon copy typescript, 80 pages, of "VALIS REGAINED/Outline for a science fiction novel." An unpublished outline for the book, with a handwritten note by the author on the first page: "published as `The Divine Invasion'/ Philip K. Dick." And a stray sheet that appears to be a couple of handwritten notes Dick wrote to himself on the subject of Yahweh and his own federal taxes. Together with the ribbon copy typescript, 297 pages, of the full novel, with many typesetter's marks and a few corrections in Dick's hand. Inscribed by the author on the first page: "To Serena & Tim Powers -- my two dearest friends/ Philip K. Dick." Together with a carbon copy typescript, 297 pages, with a handful of minor ink corrections in Dick's hand. Inscribed: "To my best friend/ Tim Powers -/ with thanks &/ appreciation./ Philip K. Dick." The first few pages of the ribbon copy typescript are tattered; otherwise each of the three manuscripts is in very good condition.

Valis Regained was published as The Divine Invasion shortly after Valis and, unlike the earlier book, was published in hardcover. It led directly to Dick's first major publishing contract for a mainstream novel (The Transmigration of Timothy Archer) and confirmed a level of commercial success that, until the late '70s, had long eluded the author. It was the last of Dick's novels published while he was alive. For the three manuscripts, which both pertain to Dick's greatest work and also reflect an extraordinary association: $10,000

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