Philip K Dick: ‘The Simulacra’

An interesting book to read at the same time as ‘The Crying of Lot 49’ as it was written about the same time and deals with many of the same issues, such as conspiracy, psychotherapy, and postmodernism, in a much more accessible way. Also, I suspect that this book may have had something of an effect on Baudrillard’s naming of ‘simulacra and simulacrum’.
The novel present a society split into ‘Be’s’ and ‘Ge’s’, people who are ignorant of, and who are in on the conspiracy respectively. There is no real secrecy from the reader that the ‘Der Alte’, or president is a simulacra, but there are enough twisty turny bits at the end showing that there are further conspiracies woven into the original to make you realize the system of those in the know and otherwise is also a useful fiction. A very good book that displays many of the concerns about 60’s America that Pynchon deals with in a far more accessible, and entertaining style.

~ by Snake Oil on October 29, 2010.