[ilds] tunc and do androids

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Wed May 30 18:44:25 PDT 2007

Bill mentions:

> Tunc was copyrighted in 1968 and Do Androids Dream
> of Electric Sheep? was copyrighted in the same year.
> Using my library and the Web, I can't tell which
> was published first. Dick's biographer doesn't
> mention Durrell.

There were actually 3 'android' books with very similar notions behind them
published that year, 1968: _Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep_, _Tunc_,
and Mordecai Richler's _Cocksure_.  The confluence speaks to the cultural
moment, I believe.  Richard Pine had a talk on Iain Banks' _The Business: A
Novel_ at a DSC session that pointed to the continued influence of _The
Revolt of Aphrodite_, which I think was persuasive.

But, more to the point, the film "Bladerunner" is a very loose
interpretation of _Do Androids_, within which I think Beatrice (and my
slightly soggy self a while ago) rightly detect Durrell's influence in the
emphasis on a semi-gnostic theme in the dark ending.  But, much of that I
believe comes from the _Nunquam_ volume.  It's not surprising given the
film's overt influence from Milton and a variety of other literary sources,
but I should also add that (much like Durrell) there are variants.  The
first film version and the later director's cut simply are not the same
film, including differences as grand as profoundly different endings, cut
scenes that alter the entire subtext of the film, and the deletion or
inclusion of a running voice-over throughout the entire production...

I used the film in conjunction with Frankenstein a couple of years ago, and
immediately twigged to the potential Durrelliana.  I wrote that in my
notebooks, but not much.  When I thought of repeating it for a course this
year, and then watched it on a soggy night, the material seemed to press
more urgently for a Durrell influence or at least a confluence.  Beatrice
makes me realize I'm no the only person who noticed this, and I doubt either
of us was the first -- who's finally going to write about it?  There's a
large-ish body of work on "Bladerunner" in academic works on film...

Also, Phillip K. Dick has mentioned Durrell in an interview, but I can't
recall where.  So has the script writer, although there's a great deal of
debate over his influence on the film considering it was altered after he'd
written it and a variety of now-famously nefarious things went on.  If those
comments are actually something anyone would hunt for or consider working
on, I can look them up, but I suspect you can "google" it (I love that new
verb).  It's somewhere on my hard drive too, but I know now where...


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