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the man in the high castle

             Dick's novel, The Man in the High Castle, is science fiction book set in the 1960s in an alternate history world in which the Allies lost World War II. America is occupied in the east by Nazi Germany and in the west by Japan. The Japanese occupiers of the defeated United States are obsessed with Americana, or artifacts of old American pop-culture. It is the only American art that is given any validity, due to its "historicity." Lorenzo DiTommaso wrote an article titled "Redemption in Philip K. Dick's Man in the High Castle" where he discusses the book as "the hope and possibility of redemption (DiTommaso 113)." One point he makes is that.
             In the world of MHC, therefore, sense-perception [emphasis mine] is the sole vehicle and interpretation is the only measure by which all things and all persons might be appraised. Past critics of the novel have rightly focused attention on the pivotal scene where Wyndham-Matson discusses the phenomenon oh historicity with his secretary. The businessman possesses two identical cigarette lighters, only one of which was in FDR's pocket when the president was assassinated (DiTommaso 96).
             I disagree with his reference to this scene in the novel, and believe that Philip K. Dick's character in the novel is portraying that it is not the sense-perception, but rather the documentation, that gives these objects their historicity and authenticity. As Wyndham-Matson states, "The paper proves its worth, not the object itself!". .
             In the novel Wyndam-Matson's company illegally creates artificially aged copies of these much sought after antiques, called "Americana." The boundary between what is authentic and that which is forgery, however, is in Wyndam-Matson's opinion, a massive hoax. He says "and so it's all a fake, a mass delusion." The Japanese are only deluding themselves into believing that art can be defined in this matter. The Japanese reason that the more history an object has, the more grounded in reality it is.

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