Extrapolation

Are They Real and Really Different from Us?

Testimony and Simulation in Radio Free Albemuth

Extrapolation (2012), 53, (2), 183–204.

Abstract

Much of the scholarship on Philip K. Dick ignores Radio Free Albemuth, his first attempt to write of the 2-3-74 events, and accepts that a diegetic reality underlies the deceptions instituted by his characters. In the following article, I seek to rectify the first point and counter the second by reading the novel as a work of testimonial fiction. By relying on Jean Baudrillard's discussion of simulation and the hyperreal, I argue that not only does the assumption of an underlying reality not hold up but that the novel illustrates the necessary fictional characteristic of all testimonies.

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Doise, Eric