This is a compilation in the making. Suggestions are welcome.
Psychological Novels of the 19th Century
inspired by mesmerism, hypnosis, dipsychism and split personalities.
- James Hogg’s “The Private memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner” (1824) … the anti-hero meets a sinister stranger, who represents Satan, but may equally represent the protagonists own dark side.
- Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Double” (1845) … a government clerk encounters a pernicious doppelganger who may embody everything the protagonist hates and fear about himself
- Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Shadow” (1847) … a scholar becomes separated from his shadow. They ultimately exchange roles, which proves fatal for the scholar.
- Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” (1886) … Jekyll liberates his dark side with drugs, which surfaces as the repellent Hyde.
- Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1981) … a beautiful young man doesn’t age while his portrait is ravaged by time and the consequences of a decadent lifestyle.
- George du Maurier’s “Trilby” (1894) … a eponymous heroine enjoys a brilliant yet doomed singing career, under the hypnotic influence of her wicked mentor.
List taken from Hidden Minds – The History of the Unconscious by Frank Tallis.
Metaphysical Movies? Created Realities in Fictitious Realities
Through sessions in a sensory deprivation tank and intake of hallucinatory drugs the protagonist explores other states of consciousness. Searching for an origin, the experiments not only change his state of mind, but also take over his physical body. He changes first into a proto-human, and at the end almost dissolves into a non-physical form of primordial consciousness.
While machines exploit human bodies for their energy, they send their brains into experiencing a simulated reality convincingly similar to typical middle-order reality. When freed from the machines, hackers tap into the simulation and learn to change the fundamental rules. Noise or glitches in the simulated reality (cat déjà vu) proof the world fake.
Characters share lucid dreams and experience a dream reality that is created by ‘the architect’ and filled with the subconscious of the others. Several layers of dreams-within-dreams are explored. The dream world is linked to reality by the sense for gravity and sound perception.
Ghost in the Shell
Being John Malkovich
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind