Synopses & Reviews
and#8220;A great and calamitous sequence of arguments with the universe: poignant, terrifying, ludicrous, and brilliant. The
Exegesis is the sort of book associated with legends and madmen, but Dick wasnand#8217;t a legend and he wasnand#8217;t mad. He lived among us, and was a genius.and#8221;and#8212;Jonathan Lethem
Based on thousands of pages of typed and handwritten notes, journal entries, letters, and story sketches, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick is the magnificent and imaginative final work of an author who dedicated his life to questioning the nature of reality and perception, the malleability of space and time, and the relationship between the human and the divine. Edited and introduced by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, this is the definitive presentation of Dickand#8217;s brilliant, and epic, work.
In the Exegesis, Dick documents his eight-year attempt to fathom what he called and#8220;2-3-74,and#8221; a postmodern visionary experience of the entire universe and#8220;transformed into information.and#8221; In entries that sometimes ran to hundreds of pages, in a freewheeling voice that ranges through personal confession, esoteric scholarship, dream accounts, and fictional fugues, Dick tried to write his way into the heart of a cosmic mystery that tested his powers of imagination and invention to the limit.
This volume, the culmination of many years of transcription and archival research, has been annotated by the editors and by a unique group of writers and scholars chosen to offer a range of views into one of the most improbable and mind-altering manuscripts ever brought to light.
Review
"[T]his book is as weird and wonderful as you'd expect." Publishers Weekly
Review
"[C]lever, extensively footnoted, and shockingly readable....A brilliant antidote both to boring math textbooks and to pop-culture math books that emphasize the discoverer over the discovery." Booklist (Starred Review)
Review
"[E]ngaging, self-conscious, playful, and often breathless." Library Journal
Review
"Wallace approaches his subject matter with a surprising degree of humor, genuine enthusiasm, and technical depth....Many of us can remember enjoying a professor who seemed to occupy his own rarified air of cognition, whose stream-of-consciousness ramblings left you confused, frustrated, and bewilderingly well-informed. One would hope for more pop technical 'booklets' from Wallace in the future, were infinity not such a tough act to follow."
Darren Abrecht, Christian Science Monitor (
read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
Review
"[I]t's hard to figure out just who the book is for. I relished Wallace's passionately erudite tone and the many exciting mathematical moments he helped me revisit, but there was nothing in
Everything that I hadn't learned as an undergraduate math major. On the other hand, readers who haven't taken at least two semesters of calculus will probably have a hard time keeping up, despite Wallace's many protestations to the contrary. If you enjoyed math but quit after calculus because you didn't have room in your schedule; if you've forgotten quite a bit over the past few decades and want a stylish reminder; if you regret having focused on the discipline's real-world applications and wish you'd paid more attention to its philosophical issues; or if you're the captain of your middle school math team and have begun working through your big sister's calculus book because you're bored, then you'll love this book. Everyone else, try it anyway and prove me wrong."
Polly Shulman, Salon.com (
read the entire Salon review)
Synopsis
The best-selling author of
Infinite Jest on the two-thousand-year-old quest to understand infinity. One of the outstanding voices of his generation, David Foster Wallace has won a large and devoted following for the intellectual ambition and bravura style of his fiction and essays. Now he brings his considerable talents to the history of one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity.
Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? The nineteenth-century mathematical genius Georg Cantor's answer to this question not only surprised him but also shook the very foundations upon which math had been built. Cantor's counterintuitive discovery of a progression of larger and larger infinities created controversy in his time and may have hastened his mental breakdown, but it also helped lead to the development of set theory, analytic philosophy, and even computer technology.
Smart, challenging, and thoroughly rewarding, Wallace's tour de force brings immediate and highprofile recognition to the bizarre and fascinating world of higher mathematics.
Synopsis
The bestselling author of Infinite Jest takes on the 2,000 year-old quest to understand infinity. Wallace brings his considerable talents to the history of one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity.
Synopsis
Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? Wallace examines one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity, exploring the 19th century's mathematical genius Cantor's answer to the question.
Synopsis
Includes bibliographical references (p. 314-319).
Synopsis
The best-selling author of on the two-thousand-year-old quest to understand infinity.
Synopsis
One of the outstanding voices of his generation, David Foster Wallace has won a large and devoted following for the intellectual ambition and bravura style of his fiction and essays. Now he brings his considerable talents to the history of one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity.
Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? The nineteenth-century mathematical genius Georg Cantor's answer to this question not only surprised him but also shook the very foundations upon which math had been built. Cantor's counterintuitive discovery of a progression of larger and larger infinities created controversy in his time and may have hastened his mental breakdown, but it also helped lead to the development of set theory, analytic philosophy, and even computer technology.
Smart, challenging, and thoroughly rewarding, Wallace's tour de force brings immediate and high-profile recognition to the bizarre and fascinating world of higher mathematics.
Synopsis
Preserved in typed and hand-written notes and journal entries, letters and story sketches, Philip K. Dick's Exegesis is the magnificent and imaginative final work of an author who dedicated his life to questioning the nature of reality and perception, the malleability of space and time, and the relationship between the human and the divine. The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick will make this tantalizing work available to the public for the first time. Edited and introduced by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, this will be the definitive presentation of Dick's brilliant, and epic, final work.
About the Author
Over a writing career that spanned three decades,
Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) published 36 science fiction novels and 121 short stories in which he explored the essence of what makes man human and the dangers of centralized power. Toward the end of his life, his work turned toward deeply personal, metaphysical questions concerning the nature of God. Eleven novels and short stories have been adapted to film; notably:
Blade Runner (based on
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?),
Total Recall,
Minority Report, and
A Scanner Darkly. The recipient of critical acclaim and numerous awards throughout his career, Dick was inducted into theandnbsp;Science Fictionandnbsp;Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2007 the Library of America published a selection of his novels in three volumes. His work has been translated intoandnbsp;more than twenty-fiveandnbsp;languages.
JONATHAN LETHEM is the author of nine novels, including Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude, and Gun, with Occasional Music.andnbsp;Dissident Gardens is his most recent novel.