Howard, L: Hidden in Perfect Day
Paranoia and Schizophrenia in the Work of Philip K. Dick
Leave it to Philip K. Dick to turn everything upside down. Dick takes aim at certain schizophrenic social trends in America, such as, an inability to desymbolize, a tendency to literalize metaphor, confusions of real and fake, as well as other symptoms such as flattened affect and a lack of theory of mind. Dick sees these traits as the potential building blocks of fascism. From a particular postmodern or post-structuralist perspective, this is a surprise. Dick's paranoid characters are, by contrast, likable, capable and rendered with affection. The paranoids in Dick's S.F., it seems, are emblematic of internality, and of indeterminate and emotive subjectivity. Consequently, Dick's view of paranoids seems to fall outside those current prominent literary and cultural trends (e.g., certain postmodernisms and poststructuralisms) that express both a negative view of paranoia (as proto-fascist) and an ambivalence about subjectivity. This book explores the topsy-turvy world of Dick's fiction from the perspective of Cultural Theory.
Lisa Howard has an MA in Cultural Theory from Trent University, Canada and is a PhD candidate in the Philosophy program at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. She has two children and lives near Ottawa, Canada.