My PhD topic is an investigation of the ways in which William Blake and Philip K. Dick create new types and ideas of world as a means of accessing alternative ways of thinking about modern social, historical and metaphysical existence.A concern shared by these authors is the impoverishment of collective and individual experience under industrial modernity (emergent in the late eighteenth century, hegemonic in the northern hemisphere by the mid-nineteenth). Blake and Dick’s work establishes an interrelation between material deprivation and oppression (social, political, economic) and more abstract diminishments of life: prevailing world views, concepts of history and available modes of interpretation. It is their view that these forms of limitation, both physical and less tangible, function systemically, determining the nature of modern reality. Blake and Dick’s work both depicts these negative social and epistemic dynamics and attempts to systematically unravel their underlying framework, creating the possibility of radically transformed notions of social and personal existence. These counter-systems are embedded inside alternative realities, as Blakean Romantic visions or Dickian speculative futures, their radically reimagined societies and unusual landscapes challenging conventional modes of interpreting a text or world. Notably, these writers draw upon similar ideas of image, technology and time, combining secular political stances with more metaphysical, religious logics.My thesis investigates the ways in which William Blake’s visionary poetry and Philip K. Dick’s science fictional and spiritual writings offer opposition to the dominant orders of subjectivity and history of the contemporary era. As well as considering historical contexts, the thesis will be structured so as to explore specific nodes within the authors’ methods and thinking, using the analysis of critical theorists such as Walter Benjamin, Michael Löwy, Samuel Delany and Guy Debord to examine both areas of overlap and points of difference in the primary texts.