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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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Belief System Surveillance

Belief System Surveillance

Chapter:
(p.58) Belief System Surveillance
Source:
I Think I Am
Author(s):

Laurence A. Rickels

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816666652.003.0004

This chapter offers a reading of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s 1977 novel A Scanner Darkly. It is in this novel that Dick makes breach of contact between his revalorization of psychosis in terms of alternate present realities and external topical points of interest such as drugs, violence, and surveillance. It took this Christian mystic or psychotic to see through and project surveillance as belief system. In A Scanner Darkly, surveillance is doubly internalized via everyone’s drug of choice, Substance D, otherwise known as Death. In Dick’s war of the world on drugs, actual surveillance is pressed into the service of containing the drug scene in second-stage alert. Surveillance as super-vision is introduced in Sigmund Freud’s theory as our inner-world connection with a superior being who, belonging in the primal past, otherwise communicates with us via transitional works of mourning or unmourning.

Keywords:   science fiction, Philip K. Dick, novel, A Scanner Darkly, psychosis, drugs, surveillance, Death, Sigmund Freud, belief system

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