I Think I Am
Philip K. Dick
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright
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Philip K. Dick died in the spring quarter of my first (academic) year in California. For many years during my tenure at the University of Califor-nia, students would claim to recognize Dick’s influence in my classes. They were each time surprised that I had never read any of his works. I should proceed directly to this, that, or the other title. I was not surprised that all ...
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That is a logic which Freud attacks, by the way, the two- proposition self- cancelling structure. Freud considered this structure a revela-force the first. It only looks like it does. In terms of our perpetual theological disputations—brought on by Fat’s supposed encoun-ter with the divine—the two- proposition self- cancelling structure ...
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Loneliness is a particular problem in Southern California because instantly. In fact some people already find it easier to establish a relationship with a stranger than with someone they know. I had an idea for a story in which everyone is allotted a part in a kind of soap opera. There’d be dossiers on all the characters, even a script, ...
Belief System Surveillance
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According to Emmanuel Carrère, Dick’s 1977 novel A Scanner Darkly is, as the author’s bid for a sane or mainstream intermission from his psy-chotic states, his most deluded work. The nonfictional afterword in which Dick declares A Scanner Darkly to be his own work of remembrance could indeed be seen to fit or foot that bill. However one should also note that ...
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Turning up the contrast in their reception with Freud’s view of delusion for-mation in psychosis as activity of recovery (or rescue) of the loss of world, Carl Jung and Ludwig Binswanger would diagnose a certain streamlining of Freud’s concept of projection in delusions as illustration of the living end a patient has arrived at when gadget goes to psychosis. The first man’s ...
Veil of Tears
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...shell, its wickedness: for it had been Christians who had designed It is so much easier to let oneself go, than to let the other go.In the early 1960s P. K. Dick studied (and was terrified by)1 Ludwig Binswanger’s case study of Ellen West, whose delusional impasse—which took the close- range form in her own terms of “becoming fat” (Dick-...
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In the course of breaking down—by now she’s undergoing her second analysis—Ellen West registers a new (or now) beginning: “I am reading Faust again. Now I begin to understand it for the first time. I now begin” (Binswanger, “Der Fall Ellen West,” 92). Another one of Binswanger’s patients remarked that if Goethe hadn’t written Faust she would have ...
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A Scanner Darkly borrows its skewer of dissociation from doubling in and as Faust I, quotations from which crowd the introduction of the splitting theme or condition. Dick’s other bookend of Faust reference is his novel Galactic Pot- Healer, which at one point in his Exegesis, the monumental corpus of reflections on his mystical experience of healing pink light in ...
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In Martian Time- Slip, research identified as Swiss, associated by name with Jung only, suggests an application or understanding of Binswanger’s Hei-deggerean notion of Zeitigung, which can be translated and misunder-stood as “timing.” The hypothesis is that schizophrenia is essentially a “derangement in the interior time- sense” (107). For purposes of invest-...
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Subsequent masterpieces—notably The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Ubik—would refine and reflect the combinations first tried out in Martian Time- Slip. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? falls by the wayside only to the extent that it focuses on Dick’s other big question—What is human?—which more or less pushes the reality question out of ...
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While Jung postulated a collective unconscious based on the archaic forms of association that archetypically recur or revert in schizophrenia and in dreams, he also admitted (for example in his 1958 publication “Schizo-phrenia”) that the schizophrenic complex cut itself off from understand-ing and integration not only via the same archaic forms but also, and in ...
Imitating the Dead
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In Dr. Bloodmoney the homunculus Bill (another ambulatory Faust II reference or property) saves the world from psychotic destructiveness or omnipotence that goes around and comes back around between the mad scientist, Dr. Bluthgeld, and Hoppy, the birth defective repairman who gets around through his prosthetic fit with technology and exceeds (or throws) ...
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Deus Irae would be another work of fantasy, in which both genres (according to Tolkien), the Germanic and the Christian hero fantasies, would meet and cross over, only if fantasy as such could survive the introduction of mutation as the new missing link to a future of survival of the loss of the...
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Lara Jefferson dedicates her account of her madness, These Are My Sis-ters: A Journal from the Inside of Insanity, to her “Shakespearian Salva-tion.” Prior to Lara’s birth, all five siblings had died on her mother. Even as she succeeds in overturning her mother’s creation so that she can be reborn as herself, she takes comfort in her newborn strength, which will ...
Hammers and Things
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Vulcan’s Hammer raises its title like a philosophical gesture, which, how-ever, comes down, once, twice, sold out as gadget designation for what the computer Vulcan 3 starts manufacturing on its own. The last man on whom the computer was still dependent as reality- testing prosthesis began withholding his services. But his strike was preceded by the paranoid shut-...
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The World Jones Made, which was written at the same time as the novella ver-sion of Vulcan’s Hammer, continues to contemplate the unattended aberra-tion that is technophobicity, which arises when the group- psychologization of gadget love or life as preparedness is dismissed or reinterpreted in favor of rationalization, the word Ernest Jones made. At least in the European cri-...
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One man’s religious frame of reference is another man’s outer- space escape or rescue. The higher purpose of interstellar exploration that gave Jones the advantage in his move against Relativism figures as outside chance and hope for changes in the future worlds depicted in Solar Lottery and Our Friends from Frolix 8. John Preston and Thors Provoni, the respective ...
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The case of Ilse overlaps significantly with that of Suzanne Urban. Bins-wanger composed the case study of Suzanne Urban as, after the fact, the second bookend concluding reflections begun in the Ellen West study. Urban is paranoid schizophrenic. What makes her case so different from what Freud discovered in Schreber’s Memoirs is that the whole develop-...
Can’t Live, Can’t Live
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On Earth as it is in heaven or on Titan: In The Game Players of Titan, The Game, which was imported from Titan to Terra as the free gift that came with conquest, is nevertheless recognizable as Monopoly, though the stakes turn out to be as high in fact as one always imagined them to be anyway. To be B is to own property: because to begin the game is the deed. ...
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The momentum of Binswanger’s case study of Lola Voß, which follows the patient as she shifts from polymorphous schizophrenia into paranoid schizophrenia, goes against Freud’s revalorization of Schreber’s delusional system as moment of recovery. Binswanger proposes instead that what Lola wants or lacks is what she gets in the end: the psychotic defense of ...
Umwelt, Mitwelt, and Eigenwelt
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He fed the sole pet allowed him in the apartment building: George II, his small green turtle....Even as recently as five years ago he could have possessed a pet bird in The Abraham Lincoln, but that was a giraffe, but giraffes were verboten, too, along with the quon-of muteness, and he was left, as so often before, merely to guess ...
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Dick dedicates the future to minority reports, both the recognizable votes or voices and the mutational links (which do not, like the outer space aliens in Star Trek, pay the token for the minorities we know—aren’t represented). This future of rebalancing acts is situated within the cul-ture industry. The first African- American U.S. president (in The Crack ...
The German Introject
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The Penultimate Truth and Lies, Inc.1 (formerly known as The Untele-ported Man) form a kind of portal for working through the one history without parallel or alternative. In The Penultimate Truth, it’s all a fair, a show, in love of war: to cut losses on the human side, the Terran popula-tion was provided vast mine- like shelters while total nuclear war com-...
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Materialism, Idealism, and Cybernetics
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As indicated in “Introjection,” Gotthard Günther is our spokesperson for the philosophical cathexis of the coordinates of science fiction, largely because John W. Campbell commissioned occasional interventions by him for popularist publication in the 1950s in the States. But we’ll begin with his more recognizably or properly published work, which stands behind ...
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I readily admit if it comes to the adding up of grocery bills and similar mental activities you can’t beat the mechanical brains but Günther claimed that the gist of his philosophizing could be located in the gaps and overlaps between his American- language and German- language works. Exile in the American- language world with his Jewish wife was a ...
A Couple of Years
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At one time—during the first year of his life in particular—Horace in front of a person and to gaze up....Staring up, his forehead wrinkled with care, the cat had uttered a single baritone miaow, man with this traditional concern. It was not a simple confusion; philosophical. But, alas, no one would ever know. Certainly not ...
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...which is indistinguishable from the human skin. It is possible that tion available we should feel there was little point in trying to make a “thinking machine” more human by dressing it up in such And Harrison Ford would say, “Lower that blast- pistol or you’re a dead android!” And I would just leap across that special effects ...
Homunculus and Robot
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In differentiating between the two creations and their respective scientific traditions in “Homunculus and Robot” (“Homonkulus und Roboter”), Gotthard Günther follows the history of technological no- way know- how not in terms of the new and improved—of immediacy—but through all the mediations adding up not to machine history but to endopsychic ...
ALL OF YOU ARE DEAD. I AM ALIVE.
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Around the square of vivid writing materializes the spray can a la Andy Warhol; the square of writing becomes its label, as in previ-the actual photographed events—merge into one ruin of particles, as if an entire planet had burst, and nothing remains of it but radioactive waste. It is as if the Warhol drawing of the spray can ...
Go with the Flow
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Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said is the scattershot estimation of the prospects for mourning when every interpersonal connection has been lost and your social context no longer recognizes you back. The protagonist Jason Taverner endures a loss of reciprocity that would resemble the psy-chotic break or the half- life of a ghost if reality did not continue to com-...
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Room for Thought
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Aby Warburg filed for release on his own consciousness to the surprise of Ludwig Binswanger, who, when he considered the patient’s disorder, was cureless. Like Heidegger, like Jung, Binswanger was a technophobe who saw delusions of reference to technologization as the chronic endpoint of psychotic regression. Contrariwise, Freud, in his Schreber reading, saw the ...
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Dr. Futurity entitles the medical profession to raise the healing snake emblem above all other totems in an alternate future of mankind. The protagonist, Parsons, is a physician who time slips into the future where healing and surviving are outmoded personal effects readily sacrificed to the future life of the race, species, or kind. Parsons was summoned or met halfway by a ...
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Time travel serves as outer limit of long distance. In other words or worlds, it offers a model for the mode of transportation—beyond distance—that interstellar travel necessarily requires. Gotthard Günther contemplates in another science fiction spread of three installments the meaning of motion that gets seconded or skipped in the space- warp notions of outer- space ...
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Dr. Johann Heinrich Jung, who in later years added to his name Stilling, which he borrowed from an uncle, as indication that he was happy or, in any event, tranquil in the prospect of the next life, published Theory of the Doctrine of Ghosts (Theorie der Geisterkunde) in 1808. Goethe had already published the first part of Jung- Stilling’s memoirs, an act of ...
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Surprised—it always surprised him to find himself awake without Exiting Kreuzlingen (a slight toss of the word salad gives you Kreuzigung or “crucifixion”) Warburg had determined to abandon art history and set out on a new path marked by totemism, allegory, and the technological relation. The technophobicity of the Serpent Ritual presentation belonged ...
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Among the dreams Adorno recorded for his unfinished dream book, there is one that turns up the contrast with the daytime recording of seemingly resolved and remembered transference proceedings. It’s a school dream about a school day. But the high school is now fifty years old and former student Adorno has been invited to contribute to the Festschrift thus occa-...
Let the Dead Be
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...“Goodbye, sweet Tulip,” I would say and, returning to her, raise the pretty disconsolate head that drooped so heavily in my hands, and kiss her on the forehead. Then I would slip out into the dark-the front of the bungalow, and rearing up on her hind legs at the window, push aside the curtains with her nose and watch me pass. ...
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For the complex of readings that have become the environment of von Uexküll’s corpus it is the notion of the moment in a world of marking or noting that commands these pages as the very translation scene of their words or worlds of difference. Here we restore what Agamben in The Open leaves out of his close paraphrase of the tick passage from the 1933 ...
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If it were not for Structuralism, we might have noticed already that Freud’s famous pronouncement that we do not find our love objects but only re- find them is at least as melancholic as it would be Oedipal (or symbolic). But ambivalence accepts this as law of desire. While the diagnostic handbooks decree that zoophilia always substitutes for a missing human connection ...
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About the Author
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Laurence A. Rickels moved to the Coast in 1981 upon completing his graduate training in German philology at Princeton University. While in California he earned a psychotherapy license. He has published numerous studies of the phenomenon he calls “unmourning,” a term that became the title of his trilogy: Aberrations of Mourning, The Case of California, and ...
Page Count: 432
Publication Year: 2010