Philip K. Dick: Contemporary Critical Interpretations

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Samuel J. Umland
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 228 pages
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This book contains 11 essays and a comprehensive bibliography. The essays reveal the extent to which Philip K. Dick's personal obsessions pre-figured postmodernist concerns with humanity's self-alienation, cultural and personal paranoia, and the politics of simulation, deceit, and self-deception. The contributors reveal how Dick's ontological concerns, stated in his repeated questioning of What is real?, are also political concerns. Thus, they examine the philosophical and religious foundations on which his work rests, offering much-needed arguments which reveal both his philosophical depth and the extent to which he drew from esoteric and occult religions. His cultural critique also receives significant exposition, as the contributors reveal how Dick's fiction enacts the larger cultural struggles of cold war America, with its conflicting private visions and public realities, and its personal and political loyalties. The contributors argue for the significance of heretofore neglected or marginalized texts of Dick as well, including in their discussions many early short stories from the early 1950s and neglected novels of the mid-1960s, arguing that there is a need to understand how Dick shaped (or misshaped) his fictions so as to reimagine the life of his society.


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Towards a Theory of Paranoia The Science Fiction of Philip K Dick
DianoiaParanoia Dicks Double Impostor
Worlds of Chance and Counterfeit Dick Lem and the Preestablished Cacophony
Philip K Dick and the Nuclear Family
To Flee from Dionysus Enthousiasmos from Upon the Dull Earth to VALIS
The Swiss Connection Psychological Systems in the Novels of Philip K Dick
Unrequited Love in We Can Build You
Man Everywhere in Chains Dick Rousseau and The Penultimate Truth
Two Cases of Conscience Loyalty and Race in The Crack in Space and CounterClock World
Chinese Fingertraps or A Perturbation in the Reality Field Paradox as Conversion in Philip K Dicks Fiction
Primary Bibliography
Secondary Bibliography

What Is This Sickness? Schizophrenia and We Can Build You

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About the author (1995)

SAMUEL J. UMLAND is Associate Professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He was educated at schools in Kansas and Nebraska, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He is the author of numerous articles on film, film theory, and the teaching of literature, and has written four unproduced screenplays.

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