Time Out of Joint

Time Out of Joint[Read] ➪ Time Out of Joint Author Philip K. Dick – Oaklandjobs.co.uk Da due anni tutte le mattine Ragle Gumm raccoglie il giornale davanti alla porta di casa; e da due anni tutte le sere spedisce la soluzione di un difficile concorso a premi uotidiano Non sbaglia mai V Da due anni tutte le mattine Ragle Gumm raccoglie il giornale davanti alla porta di casa; e da due anni tutte le sere spedisce la soluzione di un difficile concorso a premi uotidiano Non sbaglia mai Vince sempre È così che Time Out PDF or si guadagna da vivere Non è un lavoro da uomo dice suo cognato Vic impiegato in un supermarket E c'è anche un nipote Sammy il tipico ragazzino americano Ci sono il signor e la signora Black della villetta accanto non meno tipici non meno normali Tutto intorno a Ragle Gumm è così comune tranuillo piuttosto monotono L'unica cosa un po' diversa forse un po' strana è uesta sua infallibilità matematica Gli costa dieci ore di calcoli al giorno ma è l'unica cosa che sa fare e gli rende cento dollari alla settimanaCopertina di Karel Thole. Below the Surface of Things Under the Hydrogen BombNo one takes the immaterialist philosophy of the 17th century Bishop Berkeley seriously today that being is a result of being perceived But perhaps we should Isn’t this what uantum theory suggests that only when something is noticed or measured does it become definite? And at a uotidian level isn’t Berkeley’s kind of immaterialism the foundation of advertising in all its forms from retail selling to political campaigning to the generating of national feeling? The only thing real is what is perceived to be real by enough peopleIn Time Out of Joint Dick explicitly takes the dear bishop at his word But then Dick picks at a particularly loose thread For Berkeley’s theory to work not only does everyone need to have the same perceptions but the perceptions of each individual have to be consistent Any dissonance among people or within anyone’s mind is problematic Such dissonance causes doubt and therefore inuiry and eventually comparison of perceptions and judgments of which are right and which erroneous Such is the perennial problem in any totalitarian state which attempts to control perception Even the slightest lapse in propagandistic discipline will lead to troubleDespite their self perception Americans in the 1950’s lived in an arguably totalitarian state Their perceptions of freedom was their reality The uniformity of opinion the banality of life the striving to get on the universally concealed envy attachment to celebrity and the vague anti intellectualism were all part of what they meant by freedom The shared fear of Communism and the H bomb was a unifying perception created and sustained by government propaganda Bishop Berkeley had been right and America proved it But who watches the watchers? Who influences the influencers? Who sets the agenda for the agenda setters? Perceptions spread like Chinese whispers subtly evolving as they get passed on And they’re inevitably circular; they get passed back to those who initially generated them The big problem that the totalitarian state has is not insurrection but believing its own press At that point its society loses touch with anything outside itself; it becomes psychoticThose who suspect things are not as they seem consider it is they who are psychotic As one of Dick’s characters says to himself “We have a hodge podge of leaks in our reality A drop here a couple of drops over in that corner A moist spot forming on the ceiling But where's it getting in? What's it mean?” Exactly the beginning of the end Eventually the dam has to break and reality rushes in Bishop Berkeley hadn’t considered death very seriously the ultimate reality which certainly doesn’t depend on perceptionPostscript Time Out of Joint was published in 1959 Exactly 30 years later an episode of the television series The Twilight Zone entitled ‘Special Service’ had a suspiciously similar plot but no credit to Dick Almost a decade later the film The Truman Show was produced based on the episode The film emphasised the sci fi aspects of the script making it even like Dick’s story Once again no credit was given to Dick One is entitled to suspect some nefarious literary activities right in line with the theme of Time Out of Joint It was also produced in the same year in which the book is set An irony about ironies? And in case you missed it just a little further below the surface Ragle is Elgar backwards Elgar’s 14 Enigma Variations each portray a person Worth investigation by some young intellect with time on their hands Philip K Dick's Time Out of Joint may very well have influenced the producers of the film The Truman Show Orson Scott Card may also have gotten some ideas for Ender's Game PKD tells this one close to the vest for the first half of the book slowly developing the action and leaving some M Night Shyamalan type clues along the way for the reader to pick up This was published in 1959 one of his earlier novels and an observant reader of PKD will notice a subtle approach than some of his later Kafkaesue absurd and over the top science fiction vehicles But even this early some ubiuitous themes emerge such as latent conspiracy theories paranoia mirror image delusions of grandeur and references to mental illness and self destruction Also present are familiar classical biblical and psychological references Published and marketed along with his SF canon but written during the period of his mainstream efforts and less far out there than many of his worksMy only criticism is that it takes a while to get where it is going but this is good vintage PKD While the rest of the world toils at their jobs Ragle Gumm stays at home his sole source of income a daily newspaper contest called Where will the little green man appear next? When odd things start happening Ragle thinks he may be having a nervous breakdown Is he or is it something much sinister?Of course it is something sinister This is a Philip K Dick novelA Dickhead at work has been after me for years to read this After mindbending reads like The Great Forgetting Dark Matter and The Mirage the road I was on was leading to Dick anyway so I gave this a shotFirst off the things I didn't care for The prose was really bland and the pace was a little slow for a 250 page book with huge type As for the rest of it I liked it uite a bit I wish the Goodreads summary and the back cover blurb hadn't spoiled the big twist though view spoilerTime out of Joint reads like an exceptionally paranoid Twilight Zone episode Most aspects of Ragle Gumm's life are staged in order to keep him pacified and focused on Where will the little green man appear next? It's a conspiracy of massive proportions that safeguards America at the cost of Ragle Gum's day to day lifeWhen I picked up the book I had no idea it would wind up being about a war between Earth and its colonies on the moon Ragle Gum gradually pieces together what's really going on and tries to get the hell out of town A lot of reviewers mention the Truman Show and it is about like that only much crazier hide spoiler “Finished with my woman 'cause she couldn't help me with my mindpeople think I'm insane because I am frowning all the timeAll day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfyThink I'll lose my mind if I don't find something to pacifyCan you help me occupy my brain?” Cheers Ozzy That is Black Sabbath’s Paranoid of course Fits the bill for meI have a copy of Time Out of Joint languishing in my house for over ten years I have no idea where it came from I am pretty sure I never bought it Is that weird? No I guess not I could tell you how I suddenly decided to read it after having ignored it for ten years but that would be a spectacularly uninteresting anecdote so I will leave that outNormally I try to avoid reading a book’s synopsis before reading it fun that way but on this occasion after reading 40 or so pages of Time Out of Joint I really had no idea where dear old PKD is going with this one If this wasn’t a PKD I would have dumped it by then but Dick is always worth persevering withFor synopses fans Time Out of Joint is ostensibly set in 1959 the year of this book’s first publication it is the story of Ragle Gumm a man who makes a living from the cash prizes from a “Where Will The Little Green Man Be Next?” competition in a local gazette that he always win His name is always shown in a special box on the gazette’s competition winners page as nobody else I even come close Gumm is not a happy man though PKD’s protagonists never are he always has a feeling that something is “off” about his world Matters come to a head one day when a soft drink stand disappears right in front of his eyes to be replaced by a bit of paper with “SOFT DRINK STAND” printed on it OK Soon Gumm starts to feel like he is for some reason the center of the universe but not in a good wayMany reviews of Time Out of Joint mention that the book’s plot is similar to The Truman Show a 1998 film Jim Carrey’s best IMO which this book predates of course Certainly there is a strong element of that Gumm live in an artificially constructed suburban town in an artificial 1959 A recent book that is thematically similar to Time Out of Joint is Alastair Reynolds’ clever noir crimespace opera mashup novel Century Rain where the protagonist also believes he lives in 1959 Time Out of Joint is a clever mind bending and thought provoking book Dick’s favorite theme of uestioning the nature of our reality is wonderfully put to use here; as is his customary stilted dialogue I like the book but unfortunately the execution leaves a little to be desired PKD is not yet at the height of his powers at this time and the narrative and expositions can be a bit of a mess there are also some superfluous scenes which I feel he should have left out as they dragged on the narrative’s pacing unnecessarilyI would still recommend it though better than a poke in the eye any day4 35 stars A coincidence? Doubtful That Reynolds may have been inspired by PKD is not hard to imagine what SF author never read anything by Dick? Time Out of Joint also predates Heinlein’s better known classic The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress which—surprisingly—shares some similarities with this book InterestingFun uotes “He never went down to the crosswalk; he always crossed in the middle of the block directly to the café even if he had to wait at the curb minute after minute A point of honor was involved an element of manliness”“It’s clear to us that you believe what you say But don’t you see what you’re doing? Because you believe everyone’s against you you force everyone to be against you”“Central problem in philosophy Relation of word to object what is a word? Arbitrary sign But we live in words Our reality among words not things No such thing as a thing anyhow; a gestalt in the mind Thingness sense of substance An illusion Word is real than the object it represents”I have no idea what that last uote means LOL This is my third of Dick’s six 1950s novels The other two were The Cosmic Puppets and The World Jones Made On the surface Time Out of Joint reminds me of The Cosmic Puppets Both are linear narratives both are set in the 50s and most importantly both pose uestions about the nature of reality playing with the idea that things are not what they appear to be The novels differ primarily in how they resolve their mysteries This is where Time Out of Joint misses its mark Some of the most intriguing ideas from the early part of the book just drop out of sight at the endWhat I most enjoyed in the book was the philosophical speculation about the nature of reality and the meaning of words When Ragle initiates a conversation with his brother in law about philosophy he cites George Berkeley the Idealist philosopher who proposed that nothing actually exists except as ideas in the mind of God “ How do we know that piano exists?” says Ragle and Vic replies “ I’m sorry but as far as I’m concerned that’s just a bunch of words” 49 Vic’s dismissal of Berkeley’s metaphysics as “ just a bunch of words” inspires further speculation by Ragle “ Central problem in philosophy Relation of word to object what is a word? Arbitrary sign But we live in words Our reality among words not things No such thing as a thing anyhow; a gestalt in the mind Thingness sense of substance An illusion Word is real than the object it represents Word doesn’t represent reality Word is reality For us anyhow Maybe God gets to objects Not us though” 50 But there are theological undertones as well “ In the beginning he reflected was the word” 40Later Ragle repeats the words of St John“ ’Under everything else’ Ragle said ‘The word Maybe it’s the word of God The logos ‘In the beginning was the Word‘”170 The religious theme in this book is not pronounced like it is in The Cosmic Puppets In fact it doesn’t seem particularly relevant to the story at all but it is clearly something that infuses Dick’s writing even when it is not essential to the story Junie calls Ragle a “ sacred spirit” 157 Towards the end of the book after Ragle discovers the truth after the veil of illusion is lifted he says “ I’m the savior of this planet” 202 But Ragle is not really Messianic like Jones is in The World Jones Made The philosophical foundation of Time Out of Joint is the Platonic distinction between the true nature of reality and the illusion that we usually mistake for reality Once Ragle sets out to discover the truth it is Immanuel Kant that he cites Kant’s philosophy distinguishes between the world of our perceptions and the world as it truly is “ The Ding an sich as Kant said” 170 All this escalation of philosophical intensity leads to big expectations but when the truth comes out it’s anticlimactic It’s a good enough idea in and of itself but it only barely ties in with the philosophical speculation that precedes it The slips of paper for example make little sense other than to heighten the mystery They suggest something metaphysical that just isn’t there Also a practical matter wouldn’t it have been easier to just build a soft drink stand than to brainwash people into seeing one? But this novel has its strengths as well and the greatest strength is the character of Ragle Gumm In the setting of 1950s suburbia Ragle lives with his sister and brother in law making his living by participating in a daily newspaper contest which he always wins due to his remarkable ability to perceive patterns and solve puzzles an ability akin to the precognition featured in other Dick novels As the mystery gradually unfolds Ragle uestions his sanity “ I must be crazy he said to himselfI’m the man who’s supposed to have fought in a war I’m forty six years old supposedly an adultYes he thought And I’m a man who lies around the house scrounging a living by filling out Where Will the Little Green Man Be Next? Puzzles in a newspaper contest While other adults have jobs wives homes of their ownI’m a retarded—psychotic Hallucinations Yes he thought Insane Infantile and lunatic What am I doing sitting here? Daydreams at best Fantasies about rocket ships shooting by overhead armies and conspiracies ParanoiaA paranoiac psychosis Imagining that I’m the center of a vast effort by millions of men and women involving billions of dollars and infinite work a universe revolving around me Every molecule acting with me in mind An outward radiation of importance to the stars Ragle Gumm the object of the whole cosmic process from the inception to final entropy All matter and spirit in order to wheel about me” 105 106 Considering Dick’s own struggle with mental illness this is a theme in his work that interests me But there’s than insanity going on here Ragle may suspect that he is hallucinating that he is paranoid but he also uestions his life choices He uestions his status as an adult While other men work he drinks beer does puzzles and canoodles with the neighbor’s wife He describes his occupation as “ scrounging a living” He calls himself “ infantile” I wonder if this aspect of Ragle’s self criticism is based on Dick himself Either way Ragle is a character that appealed to me right from the start Perhaps it’s because of his self doubt Perhaps it’s because he feels like he isn’t living an adult life even though he’s doing the best that he can Perhaps it’s because he sees himself as infantile and insane even as he imagines himself to be the center of the universe His delusions of grandeur coexist with his inferiority complex But whatever the reason I felt a connection with him Why didn't I start reading Philip K Dick ages ago??WHERE HAVE I BEEN ALL MY LIFE Time Out of Joint was first published by Lippincott in hardcover 59 7775 in 1959 running 221pp and sold for 395 when they were going to start a science fiction line Dick’s fee was 750Mr Dick says of the book in an interview with Charles Platt I wrote TIME OUT OF JOINT in the 1950s before I had even heard of LSD In that book a guy walks up to a lemonade stand in the park and it turns into a slip of paper marked Soft Drink Stand and he puts the slip of paper in his pocket Far fucking out spacey that's an 'acid experience' If I didn't know better I'd say that this author had turned on many times and his universe was coming unglued he's obviously living in a fake universe What I was trying to do in that book was account for the diversity of worlds that people live in I had not read Heraclitus then I didn’t know his concept of idios kosmos the private world versus koinos kosmos which we all share I didn’t know that the pre Socratics had begun to discern these things There’s a scene in the book where the protagonist goes into the bathroom reaches in the dark for a pull cord and suddenly realizes there is no cord there’s a switch on the wall and he can’t remember when he ever had a bathroom when there was a cord hanging down Now that actually happened to me and it was what caused me to write the book It reminded me of the idea that Van Vogt had dealt with of artificial memory as occurs in THE WORLD OF NULL A where a person has false memories implanted A lot of what I wrote which looks like the result of taking acid is really the result of taking Van Vogt seriously I believed Van Vogt I mean he wrote it you know he was an authority figure He said people can be other than whom they remember themselves to be and I found this fascinating You have a massive suspension of belief on my partNote This is not a library copy In a civil war Ragle said every side is wrong It's hopeless to try to untangle it Everyone is a victimWritten in 1958 when Phil was just 30 and published in '59 this is the earliest of his novels that I've read He may not have always shown it over the course of his 45 novel career at least in part because he wrote some of those novels in two week amphetamine binges but Time Out of Joint reminds me that not only did he have brilliant ideas but that by this early point in his career he was also a real craftsman who knew what he was doing with a story There's an elegant simplicity to this novel yet it somehow managed to keep surprising mePhil's novels often take place in alternate realities or future societies so I found something pleasingly disconcerting about the suburban late 50s milieu with which this one begins I enjoyed the character of Vic who works in the produce section of a supermarket and walks to a diner across the street for coffee on his breaks I enjoyed Vic and his wife Margo's go getting neighbor Bill Black who's always stopping by the house conversant in all the cultural topics of the day including the theories of Freud almost too conversant reallyand of course there's a marital infidelity or two or uasi infidelity the kind that Phil would often use in his future novels whether they took place in a suburb on earth or a Martian mining colony put people in close uarters for too long and things are going to get weird And then there's Margo's brother Ragle Gumm definitely one of the most ridiculous character names Phil ever came up with who lives a uiet circumscribed life dedicated to a strange isolating little hobby not unlike writing science fiction stories for peanuts maybe Things are going well or less until the day Vic instinctively reaches for a light cord in the bathroom that isn't there and has never been there It's hard to say much about Time Out of Joint without giving away its secrets but in my view it's about the power of fantasy and how the tragedy of one's present strengthens the appeal of whatever fantasies one's society allows It's about how fantasy becomes all encompassing and isn't always a conscious choice But at the risk of moralizing I think it's also about fighting back against fantasy about remaining conscious in one's own time and place no matter how unpleasant That there's something ennobling about the truth Phil had a lot of sympathy for the impulse to escape but I think he also understood that fantasy isn't as individual a thing as it might seem It's social and political as well it has causes and conseuences beyond ourselves and the people who seek power in this world depend on the rest of us becoming so appalled by the present that we turn inward with the help of our gadgets And as I think David Foster Wallace once said the technology is just going to keep getting better and better What a strange book I wonder if this is where the creators of 'The Truman Show' got their inspiration A really kooky story about an ordinary guy who thinks he's living in the 1950s and just doing ordinary stuff in an ordinary little town But is he? Well it's Philip K Dick Of course he isn't It's all some really weird crap and nothing really makes any god damn sense at least not until the ending but even that is just crazy stuff “Relation of word to object what is a word? Arbitrary sign But we live in words Our reality among words not things No such thing as thing anyhow; a gestalt in the mind”Time out of Joint is a sci fi novel written in 1959 by Philip K Dick and like many of his other books it also explores themes of psychological mind trips and constant hopping back and forth through hoops of realityThe bulk of the plot is a spoiler so to say as little as possible about this book A man called Ragle Gumm lives an ordinary life next door to some great neighbors and in a seemingly ordinary town in the same house with his sister and his brother in law He makes a living oddly by winning big prizes from newspaper competitions Ragle starts searching for answers when a soda pop turns into a slip of paper with Soda pop written on it before his eyes and he slowly notices other objects turning to slips of paper He sets out on a journey for the truth along with his brother in law and the curtains slowly unravel as the pieces of the puzzle are put togetherThe title of the book is a reference to Shakespeare’s Hamlet The time is out of joint; O cursed spiteThat ever I was born to set it right IV211 2This book was really enjoyable to read and I was very satisfied with the ending Would recommend