The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
Readers’ workshop #2
Presentation by Pacôme Thiellement.
With Hélène Collon and Louis Castel
To what extent was Philip K. Dick a gnostic? Pacôme Thiellement will help us to answer this question, pointing out the connection between gnosis and pop culture. It is worth reminding ourselves of the many films and series that have drawn from the vast repository of ideas that Philip K. Dick’s work represents—Blade Runner 1 & 2, Total Recall 1 & 2, Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau, The Matrix, Dark Star, Inception, Mr. Robot, etc.)
Free entrance on reservation
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Couverture de l’édition française de L’Exégèse de Philip K. Dick
© Editions J’ai lu / Nouveaux Millénaires.
Whether he is staging Adamov, Philip K. Dick, Molière, Novarina, Sade, Strindberg, Chekhov or his own plays, Louis Castel tries to journey to the hidden structure of the work. He has been described as attending to the very depths of text. He likes to convey thought in theatre, preferably in a jubilatory mode. For Castel, image is produced by the word and not vice versa. He likes the different languages that theatre draws in and incorporates to give them more meaning. In this way, in keeping with his company’s name — Théatrographe, that evokes the Cinématographe — a projected or digitalised image is a recurrent motif of the company’s shows. For the 1993 Avignon (in) festival he staged “Comment construire un univers qui ne s’effondre pas deux jours plus tard” (How to Build a Universe that Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later), a legendary lecture in which Philip K. Dick humorously reflects on reality, what constitutes “the authentic human being”, God and Disneyland.
Hélène Collon is a French literary translator. Her translations include works by science fiction and modern fantasy writers such as Brian Aldiss, Scott Baker, Iain M. Banks, Ray Bradbury, Christopher Priest, Robert Silverberg, Mike McQuay, Pat Murphy, Jack Finney, Jonathon Carroll, Harlan Ellison, Gregory Benford, Richard Matheson, Michael Marshall Smit and Norman Spinrad. In 1994 she was awarded the Grand Prix de l’imaginaire in the “Translation” section for L’Homme des jeux (original title: The Player of Games) by Iain M. Banks, and again in 1997 for the autobiography of Isaac Asimov. In 1992 she edited a collective publication on Philip K. Dick titled Regards sur Philip K. Dick. Between 1994 and 2000 she coordinated, in collaboration with Jacques Chambon, the translation of Dick’s entire corpus of short stories for the éditions Denoël. She also translated Lawrence Sutin’s biography of Philip K. Dick, Invasions divines (Divine Invasions), and another work by Lawrence Sutin on Philip K. Dick, Dernière conversation avant les étoiles. In 2013 she translated Philip K. Dick’s last novel, Ô Nation sans pudeur. She is currently working on the French edition of The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick — the first tome was published in October 2016 with Nouveaux Millénaires, and the second tome is due for publication late 2017.
Pacôme Thiellement, born in Paris to a French father and an Egyptian mother, first distinguished himself in the field of comics at the age of 13 as editor of the fanzine Réciproquement, which included contributions from J.C. Menu, Killoffer, Got, Captain Cavern, Olivia Clavel, Pyon, Placid, Muzo and Mattt Konture, among others. He left the fanzine at the age of 17 but has continued to maintain very strong ties to the world of comics/graphic novels ever since. In 1998 he created the journal Spectre. The journal ceased in 2002, the same year Pacôme Thiellement published his first book, Poppermost. He has written eight essays inspired by the exegetic and the burlesque, including Poppermost — Considérations sur la mort de Paul McCartney (MF, 2002), Economie Eskimo – Le Rêve de Zappa (MF, 2005), Cabala – Led Zeppelin occulte (Hoëbeke, 2009), La Main gauche de David Lynch (P.U.F., 2010), Les Mêmes yeux que Lost (Léo Scheer, 2011) et Pop Yoga (Sonatine, 2013). He has also written a novel, Soap Apocryphe, published by Inculte in 2012, and a serial, Les cinq livres du King, illustrated by Jonathon Bougard and published by Le Feu Sacré in 2014. He is co-writer-director, with Thomas Bertay, of a collection of experimental films titled Le Dispositif: 52 experimental videos that have been extensively screened, including three retrospectives. He has published articles in numerous journals (R de Réel, Vertige, L’Eprouvette, Le Tigre, Espaces), magazines (Rock & Folk, Chronic’art, Standard, Les Cahiers du Cinéma, Fluide Glacial, Le Magazine Littéraire) and collective publications (Fresh Théorie, Ecrivains en série). He has given lectures and taken part in discussions in contemporary art centres in France and worldwide.
His books have received critical acclaim. Philippe Manœvre has described him as a “poet” and a “prophet of Rock music”. .