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I Think I AmPhilip K. Dick$
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Laurence A. Rickels

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816666652

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816666652.001.0001

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Umwelt, Mitwelt,and Eigenwelt

Umwelt, Mitwelt,and Eigenwelt

(p.245) Umwelt, Mitwelt,and Eigenwelt
I Think I Am

Laurence A. Rickels

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter analyzes science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s novel The Simulacra, in which the protagonist, Richard Kongrosian, is a psychotic. Kongrosian starts out an anankastic, a person for whom reality had shrunk to the dimension of compulsion; everything he did was forced on him—there was for him nothing voluntary, spontaneous or free. And, to make matters worse, he had tangled with a Nitz commercial. The deodorant commercial has contaminated him with “phobic body odor.” At the same time he knew that the odor was a delusion, that it did not really exist; it was an obsessive idea only. However, that realization did not help him. The odor also transmits along phone wires and even by telegram. The Simulacra is coterminous with the transition of Kongrosian into the delusional world. The novel closes around the prospect of civil war.

Keywords:   science fiction, Philip K. Dick, novel, The Simulacra, compulsion, phobic body odor, delusion, civil war

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