steeped in time: Vonnegut, Dick, and – of course – Borges

A susceptibility to being steeped in time, as a long-haul flier is steeped in distance, can give a writer a serious creative edge: Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five was born of it, as were most of the novels of Philip K. Dick. “Time is the substance of which I am made,” wrote Jorge Luis Borges, whose stories seemed to issue from the lucid core of a particularly nasty intertemporal hangover.

I just recently finished Dick’s Martian Time-Slip, which was crazy in time.  And my older brother on his last visit read aloud Borges’s Babylon Lottery, which wasn’t crazy in time but was still crazy … in the best of ways.

quote from James Parker’s The Sorcery of Alan Moore, May 2009 Atlantic Monthly

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