Philip K. Dick: Contemporary Critical Interpretations

Philip K. Dick: Contemporary Critical Interpretations

by Samuel J. Umland
     
 

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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A collection of 11 (two previously published) essays investigating Dick's fiction and the ideologies of the critical modes which have structured our perceptions of it. Roughly organized according to the decade in which the fiction appeared, the collection begin with an overview of Dick's work, followed by an examination of a theory of paranoia in his work. Four essays are devoted respectively to his fiction in the 1950s and 1960s, with a final chapter applying Kenneth Burke's ideas to a discussion of the Valis trilogy. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313292958
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/28/1995
Series:
Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy Series , #63
Pages:
238
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.56(d)
Lexile:
1450L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

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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