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I Think I Am

Philip K. Dick

2010
Author:

Laurence A. Rickels

I Think I Am

Sounds out the philosophical and psychoanalytic significance of Philip K. Dick’s influential fiction

I Think I Am: Philip K. Dick explores the science fiction author’s meditations on psychic reality and psychosis, Christian mysticism, Eastern religion, and modern spiritualism. Laurence A. Rickels corrects the lack of scholarly interest in the legendary Californian author and, ultimately, makes a compelling case for the philosophical and psychoanalytic significance of Philip K. Dick’s popular and influential science fiction.

Aside from its perfect fit of critic and subject, Laurence A. Rickels’ book provides the most thorough and exhaustive reading of Philip K. Dick’s literary work that exists. He goes through all the novels literally, both the science fiction works and the so-called ‘mainstream’ novels Dick did not publish in his lifetime. The reader of science fiction should welcome a book like this, which is both knowledgeable of the SF tradition and creatively analytical. I could not put this book down once I began to read it.

George Slusser, University of California, Riverside

For years, noted writer Laurence A. Rickels often found himself compared to novelist Philip K. Dick—though in fact Rickels had never read any of the science fiction writer’s work. When he finally read his first Philip K. Dick novel, while researching for his recent book The Devil Notebooks, it prompted a prolonged immersion in Dick’s writing as well as a recognition of Rickels’s own long-documented intellectual pursuits. The result of this engagement is I Think I Am: Philip K. Dick, a profound thought experiment that charts the wide relevance of the pulp sci-fi author and paranoid visionary.

I Think I Am: Philip K. Dick explores the science fiction author’s meditations on psychic reality and psychosis, Christian mysticism, Eastern religion, and modern spiritualism. Covering all of Dick’s science fiction, Rickels corrects the lack of scholarly interest in the legendary Californian author and, ultimately, makes a compelling case for the philosophical and psychoanalytic significance of Philip K. Dick’s popular and influential science fiction.

I Think I Am

Laurence A. Rickels moved to the Coast in 1981 upon completing his graduate training in German philology at Princeton University. While in California he also earned a psychotherapy license. He has over the years 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 Nazi Psychoanalysis. Although not easy, this theorist/therapist was able to attract a large following, which he has documented in his three “course books”: The Vampire Lectures, The Devil Notebooks, and The Psycho Files (forthcoming).

I Think I Am

Aside from its perfect fit of critic and subject, Laurence A. Rickels’ book provides the most thorough and exhaustive reading of Philip K. Dick’s literary work that exists. He goes through all the novels literally, both the science fiction works and the so-called ‘mainstream’ novels Dick did not publish in his lifetime. The reader of science fiction should welcome a book like this, which is both knowledgeable of the SF tradition and creatively analytical. I could not put this book down once I began to read it.

George Slusser, University of California, Riverside

An analysis that goes light-years beyond what we might expect of a theory-based reading of Phil Dick’s science fiction.

M/C Reviews

It is an impressive work of psychoanalytic and philosophical criticism.

SFRA Review

Laurence Rickels’s discursive and ebullient discussion is happy to extend... almost to the horizon, if not beyond.

Science Fiction Studies