Episode 33: “Real Sheep Don’t Buy Themselves,” or Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Part II

Rick Deckard spends much of the second half pondering Rachael Rosen’s girlish legs, and his growing feelings of empathy to the Androids, before deciding to go after the remaining three. Does his empathy make it harder for him to do his appointed grisly task? Maybe? Both UMBs wonder if Dick’s ideas were too big for the scope of this book, even though it has its virtues.

A section from William Carlos Williams’ Paterson, published between 1946 and 1958, that the UMBers discuss.

“Say it! No ideas but in things. Mr.
Paterson has gone away
to rest and write. Inside the bus one sees
his thoughts sitting and standing. His thoughts
alight and scatter—

Who are these people (how complex
this mathematic) among whom I see myself
in the regularly ordered plateglass of
his thoughts, glimmering before shoes and bicycles—?
They walk incommunicado, the
equation is beyond solution, yet
its sense is clear—that they may live
his thought is listed in the Telephone
and there’s young Alex Shorn
whose dad the boot-black bought a house
and painted it inside
with seascapes of a pale green monochrome—
the infant Dionysus springing from
Apollo’s arm—the floors oakgrained in
Balkan fashion—Hermes’ nose, the body
of a gourmand, the lips of Cupid, the eyes
the black eyes of Venus’ sister—

But who! who are these people? It is
his flesh making the traffic, cranking the car
buying the meat—
Defeated in achieving the solution they
fall back among cheap pictures, furniture
filled silk, cardboard shoes, bad dentistry
windows that will not open, poisonous gin
scurvy, toothache—”

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