The Man in the High Castle

No, not the Amazon show. The book. The Phillip K. Dick sci fi piece that serves as a dystopic introduction to the alt-history genre. In this one, the Nazi’s won. Japan did too, and now the world is split into halves.

The fun part about reading books on the Kindle is that you can see the sections that other people thought were worthy of highlighting. Meaning that as you’re perusing Mr. Frink’s journey into jewelry-crafting and Juliana’s Denver shopping spree, you’ll occasionally come across little lines telling you that other people found this meaningful. Or, at least, worth quoting.

It’s like getting an older textbook at the start of the year, and finding you caught the one last held by Scribble McGee, captain of the wandering pencil who found every other word worth a graphite epitaph.

While the highlighted passages themselves seemed fine from a quality perspective, they did have one thing in common. The same thing that permeated all of Dick’s characters in the book. A philosophical sense that the place that they inhabited wasn’t right.

In other novels, that theme might be used to propel change. Spur the heroes onto a quest to defeat some evil and right the world. Here, though, the feeling is a tantalizing thing that, even when some come close to escaping that world, they give it up. Go back to the dismal place they know, but perhaps more at peace with it.

I could strain the message and say that I take it as a push to keep on going. That the current world of working hard and writing little isn’t the world as its supposed to be. The difference, hopefully, is that when, if, I reach a point where change is possible that I don’t back down. Because I’m not sure I could find any peace that way

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