Philip K. Dick Writing Styles in Valis

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In Valis, Philip K. Dick portrays himself as a successful science fiction writer who deals with a severe mental breakdown. The narration shifts between the first person and the third, as Dick speaks sometimes as and about himself as Phil, a cool, pragmatic character, and sometimes as and about Horselover Fat, a character disintegrating into insanity. Early on, he fumbles back and forth between perspectives, sometimes juxtaposing them and explaining anew the confusion to his rightly perplexed readers. Eventually the narration gets sorted out: Phil talks about Fat.

Early on, Phil explains that the odd name Horselover Fat reflects Phil's own, with Philip (Philippos) being Greek for "Horselover" and Dick being German for "Fat." Phil claims to have created this character to afford himself some "much needed objectivity" (pg. 11). Later in the novel, a two-year-old Messiah frees Phil of Fat, but Phil longs for Fat's good...

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This section contains 1,489 words
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Buy the Valis Study Guide
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