I can’t believe I didn’t notice this sooner.
Going back through Philip K. Dick’s works, I discover that in at least two places he referred to himself as “Jack.” In “Confessions of a Crap Artist,” he used the name Jack Isidore for his author avatar character. He also wrote “Orpheus With Clay Feet” under the name “Jack Dowland,” which was a reference to the composer John Dowland.
Indeed, “Jack” is a nickname for John and it’s got me wondering if I wasn’t better known, during my earlier life, as Jack Harris and if Phil’s use of this name wasn’t somehow a residual memory. It’s a long shot to say the least but it’s food for thought.
I really need to get back to reading his work to see if I can spot more instances of the name Jack. Maybe this is just a fluke or maybe he was thinking of Dowland in both instances.
Still, “Jack” is a rather fitting name for a country boy from Somerset. It’s trusty, strong, and unassuming. That’s certainly how I would like to think I was back in those days.