Philip K. Dick American Literature Analysis
In his essay “How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” (written in 1978 but not published until 1985, as an introduction to the story collection I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon), Philip K. Dick outlined the principal themes of his fiction:The two basic topics which fascinate me are “What is reality?” and “What constitutes the authentic human being?” Over the twenty-seven years in which I have published novels and stories I have investigated these two interrelated topics over and over again.
Philosophers, it is sometimes said, are people who sit around asking “Is this table real?” The point of the caricature is to suggest that philosophy is too esoteric, divorced from the problems of everyday life. After all, except for the mentally ill, everyone knows what reality is, so why ask?
Dick was a writer of fiction, however, not a philosopher, and his concern with the nature of reality was anything but abstract. His stories and novels explore collisions between multiple realities. Dick was particularly interested in the interplay between subjective and objective reality. As he noted in a letter written in 1970,I have been very much influenced by the thinking of the European existential psychologists, who posit this: for each person there are two worlds, the idios kosmos, which is a unique private world, and the koinos kosmos, which literally means shared world (just as...
(The entire section is 5183 words.)
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