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A Scanner Darkly A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
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“Everything in life is just for a while.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“What does a scanner see? he asked himself. I mean, really see? Into the head? Down into the heart? Does a passive infrared scanner like they used to use or a cube-type holo-scanner like they use these days, the latest thing, see into me - into us - clearly or darkly? I hope it does, he thought, see clearly, because I can't any longer these days see into myself. I see only murk. Murk outside; murk inside. I hope, for everyone's sake, the scanners do better. Because, he thought, if the scanner sees only darkly, the way I myself do, then we are cursed, cursed again and like we have been continually, and we'll wind up dead this way, knowing very little and getting that little fragment wrong too.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“Strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“If I'd known it was harmless, I'd have killed it myself!”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“But the actual touch of her lingered, inside his heart. That remained. In all the years of his life ahead, the long years without her, with never seeing her or hearing from her or knowing anything about her, if she was alive or happy or dead or what, that touch stayed locked within him, sealed in himself, and never went away. That one touch of her hand.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“Sometimes I wish I knew how to go crazy. I forget how.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
tags: crazy
“Imagine being sentient but not alive. Seeing and even knowing, but not alive. Just looking out. Recognizing but not being alive. A person can die and still go on. Sometimes what looks out at you from a person's eyes maybe died back in childhood.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed--run over, maimed, destroyed--but they continued to play anyhow.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“How'd you like to gaze at a beer can throughout eternity? It might not be so bad. There'd be nothing to fear.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“One of the most effective forms of industrial or military sabotage limits itself to damage that can never be thoroughly proven - or even proven at all - to be anything deliberate. It is like an invisible political movement; perhaps it isn't there at all. If a bomb is wired to a car's ignition, then obviously there is an enemy; if public building or a political headquarters is blown up, then there is a political enemy. But if an accident, or a series of accidents, occurs, if equipment merely fails to function, if it appears faulty, especially in a slow fashion, over a period of natural time, with numerous small failures and misfiring- then the victim, whether a person or a party or a country, can never marshal itself to defend itself.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“The pain, so unexpected and undeserved, had for some reason cleared away the cobwebs. I realized I didn’t hate the cabinet door, I hated my life… My house, my family, my backyard, my power mower. Nothing would ever change; nothing new could ever be expected. It had to end, and it did. Now in the dark world where I dwell, ugly things, and surprising things, and sometimes little wondrous things, spill out in me constantly, and I can count on nothing.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“If the last to know he’s an addict is the addict, then maybe the last to know when a man means what he says is the man himself, he reflected.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“The most dangerous kind of person... is one who is afraid of his own shadow.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“It's easy to win. Anybody can win.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“I have seen myself backward.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to do it, it is a social error, a life-style. In this particular lifestyle the motto is “Be happy now because tomorrow you are dying,” but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is a memory.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“But at least he can still see the lights below us. Although maybe for him it doesn't matter.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“Don't never participate in no bad scenes, he reminded himself; that was his motto in life.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“When he turned on the tape-transport once more, Arctor was saying, "-- as near as I can figure out, God is dead."

Luckman answered, "I didn't know He was sick.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“This has been a novel about some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed--run over, maimed, destroyed--but they continued to play anyhow. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief: even when we could see it, we could not believe it. For example, while I was writing this I learned that the person on whom the character Jerry Fabin is based killed himself. My friend on whom I based the character Ernie Luckman died before I began the novel. For a while I myself was one of these children playing in the street; I was, like the rest of them, trying to play instead of being grown up, and I was punished. I am on the list below, which is a list of those to whom this novel is dedicated, and what became of each.
Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to do it, it is a social error,a life-style. In this particular life-style the motto is "Be happy now because tomorrow you are dying," but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is a memory. It is, then, only a speeding up, an intensifying, of the ordinary human existence. It is not different from your life-style, it is only faster. It all takes place in days or weeks or months instead of years. "Take the cash and let the credit go," as Villon said in 1460. But that is a mistake if the cash is a penny and the credit a whole lifetime.
There is no moral in this novel; it is not bourgeois; it does not say they were wrong to play when they should have toiled;it just tells what the consequences were. In Greek drama they were beginning, as a society, to discover science, which means causal law. Here in this novel there is Nemesis: not fate, because any one of us could have chosen to stop playing in the street, but, as I narrate from the deepest part of my life and heart, a dreadful Nemesis for those who kept on playing. I myself,I am not a character in this novel; I am the novel. So, though, was our entire nation at this time. This novel is about more people than I knew personally. Some we all read about in the newspapers. It was, this sitting around with our buddies and bullshitting while making tape recordings, the bad decision of the decade, the sixties, both in and out of the establishment. And nature cracked down on us. We were forced to stop by things dreadful.
If there was any "sin," it was that these people wanted to keep on having a good time forever, and were punished for that, but, as I say, I feel that, if so, the punishment was far too great, and I prefer to think of it only in a Greek or morally neutral way, as mere science, as deterministic impartial cause-and-effect. I loved them all. Here is the list, to whom I dedicate my love:

To Gaylene deceased
To Ray deceased
To Francy permanent psychosis
To Kathy permanent brain damage
To Jim deceased
To Val massive permanent brain damage
To Nancy permanent psychosis
To Joanne permanent brain damage
To Maren deceased
To Nick deceased
To Terry deceased
To Dennis deceased
To Phil permanent pancreatic damage
To Sue permanent vascular damage
To Jerri permanent psychosis and vascular damage

. . . and so forth.
In Memoriam.
These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The "enemy" was their mistake in playing. Let them all play again, in some other way, and let them be happy.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“When do I see a photograph, when a reflection?”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“Any given man sees only a tiny portion of the total truth, and very often, in fact almost perpetually, he deliberately deceives himself about that little precious fragment as well. A portion of him turns against him and acts like another person, defeating him from inside. A man inside a man. Which is no man at all.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“Life ... is only heavy and none else; there is only the one trip, all heavy. Heavy that leads to the grave. For everyone and everything.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“You put on a bishop's robe and miter, he pondered, and walk around in that, and people bow and genuflect and like that, and try to kiss your ring, if not your ass, and pretty soon you're a bishop. So to speak. What is identity? he asked himself. Where does the act end? Nobody knows.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“Once a guy stood all day shaking bugs from his hair.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“What was on the other side?"
Donna said, "He said there was another world on the other side. He could see it."
"He... never went through it?"
"That’s why he kicked the shit out of everything in his apartment; he never thought of going through it, he just admired the doorway and then later he couldn’t see it at all and it was too late. It opened for him a few days and then it was closed and gone forever.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“In this particular lifestyle the motto is “Be happy now because tomorrow you are dying,” but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is a memory.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“After he saw God [Tony Amsterdam] felt really good, for around a year. And then he felt really bad. Worse than he ever had before in his life. Because one day it came over him, he began to realize, that he was never going to see God again; he was going to live out his whole remaining life, decades, maybe fifty years, and see nothing but what he had always seen. What we see. He was worse off than if he hadn’t seen God. He told me one day he got really mad; he just freaked out and started cursing and smashing things in his apartment. He even smashed his stereo. He realized he was going to have to live on and on like he was, seeing nothing. Without any purpose. Just a lump of flesh grinding along, eating, drinking, sleeping, working, crapping.”

“Like the rest of us.” It was the first thing Bob Arctor had managed to say; each word came with retching difficulty.

Donna said, “That’s what I told him. I pointed that out. We were all in the same boat and it didn’t freak the rest of us. And he said, ‘You don’t know what I saw. You don’t know.’ ”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“We're all dreaming,” Arctor said. If the last to know he's an addict is the addict, then maybe the last to know when a man means what he says is the man himself, he reflected. He wondered how much of the garbage that Donna had overheard he had seriously meant. He wondered how much of the insanity of the day--his insanity--had been real, or just induced as a contact lunacy, by the situation. Donna, always, was a pivot point of reality for him; for her this was the basic, natural question. He wished he could answer.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“Every junkie, he thought, is a recording.”
Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly

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