The Essayist

Aggregated long-form essays from the world's best writers and publications.

If You Find this World Bad, You Should Try Some of the Others

Philip K Dick gets weird on the possibility of alternative realities; if I’m not mistaken, suggests that he may have actually been to a parallel universe. :-/


May I tell you how much I appreciate your asking me to share some of my ideas with you. A novelist carries with him constantly what most women carry in large purses: much that is useless, a few absolutely essential items, and then, for good measure, a great number of things that fall in between. But the novelist does not transport them physically because his trove of possessions is mental. Now and then he adds a new and entirely useless idea; now and then he reluctantly cleans out the trash — the obviously worthless ideas — and with a few sentimental tears sheds them. Once in a great while, however, he happens by chance onto a thoroughly stunning idea new to him that he hopes will turn out to be new to everyone else. It is this final category that dignifies his existence. But such truly priceless ideas… perhaps during his entire lifetime he may, at best, acquire only a meager few. But that is enough; he has, through them, justified his existence to himself and to his God.

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