Christian Strowa
Things Don't Like Me - Paranoia, McCarthyism and Colonialism
in the Novels of Philip K. Dick


Philip K. Dick's works have inspired Hollywood films such as Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall. Contemporary writers and philosophers such as Fredric Jameson and Slavoj Žižek have credited him with foreshadowing postmodernity and have discussed the philosophical and religious concepts embedded in his Science Fiction. 

A child of the Berkeley counter-culture of the 1950s, Dick was also a political writer, his works strongly influenced by the paranoia of the McCarthy era and the Cold War. From a psychoanalytical perspective, Dick's writings illustrate the workings of a paranoid mind as described by Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung. The paranoia found in his works is not limited to the Cold War era, but seems current now more than ever. A vocal critic of the US government at the time, Dick employed Cold War paranoia to denounce imperial tendencies inside and outside the US. His novels The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, among others, are particularly accessible when explored from a postcolonial point of view. An analysis employing key concepts of postcolonial studies, such as mimicry, hybridity and the tension between periphery and center, proves fruitful not only for the works of Dick, but for the Science Fiction genre per se, making it a noteworthy and scarcely explored field for postcolonial studies.


ISBN 978-3-86821-035-4, 98 S., kt., € 15,00 (2008)


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