Zebrapedia.org: Distributed Scholarship and Philip K. Dick's Exegesis

Welcome to the collaborative portal for Zebrapedia, The Zebrapedia Crowdscription Engine, a site devoted to the ongoing transcription, annotation, discussion and editing of Philip K. Dick's Exegesis. This is where we will securely share our transcription and annotation, post queries, and collectively share our insights into the pink light and the writing PKD composed under its influence.

The Zebrapedia Crowdscription Engine is still under development, but we'd like to invite people to look around and send suggestions and bug reports to max@kazoorepair.com. If anything looks broken, hard to understand, or just odd, please let us know!

A few features worth highlighting are workset overviews such as is seen here for folder 9, and categories and automatic subject indexing that allows you to easily view every instance of a particular subject is mentioned in the text, such as each time he mentions The Exegesis or a character in one of his published works. You can continue to drill down to more specific references such as Horselover Fat who appears in VALIS.

Many thanks to Ben Brumfield and his tireless work making FromThePage, simply the finest crowdsourcing manuscript transcription software on the planet.

Goal

To open and elucidate the terra incognita of Philip K Dick's Exegesis, using collaborative scholarship and 21st century networking tools to explore this mammoth digital text with the techniques of Swarm Scholarship and digital analysis.

Significance

Philip K. Dick's Exegesis is possibly the largest archive of unreleased and unpublished material written by any major 20th century author. At over eight thousand pages, this massive, mostly hand written text by America's "home grown Borges" is arguably Dick's magnum opus, yet it remains largely unexplored. In its daily entries, diagrams and sketches, Dick documents his eight year attempt to fathom what he called "2-3-74", a post modern visionary experience of the entire universe "transformed into information." Dick's experiences in February and March of 1974 with what he variously called VALIS , Firebright, Sophia and Zebra sent him on a classic visionary quest through the esoteric literatures and sciences of the planet as he focused his polymath sensibility, wide ranging erudition, and zen-like humor on a cosmic whodunnit: Who -- or what -- was VALIS? Dick pursued this problem for the rest of his life, and the Exegesis stands as a unique record not only of a profound spiritual quest, but of the writer at work: reflective, self-questioning, and as always, prodigiously inventive.

Over the past three decades, Philip K. Dick has emerged as a major literary figure of rare and intense interest to a wide array of readers and scholars. Academics, fans, philosophers and film makers enjoy an unusual consensus: Dick offered ecstatically imaginative and prophetic insight into the nature of an "information society," and he did so with paradox, humor and compassion in a spirit of unyielding inquiry. The Exegesis is a brilliant, epic and wrenchingly personal working through of the diverse strands of scientific, philosophical and theological thought developed by Dick in his novels and short stories, and the range of its topics and speculations -- from early Greek philosophy to the 1960s counter-culture, from the nature of time and memory to the interpretation of his own fiction -- make it a potentially almost limitless resource for readers and scholars of his work.