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I Think, Therefore Who Am I?

The philosopher Rene Descartes declared, "I think, therefore I am." But who is this I that thought posits? In anecdotal style, the narrator of this nonfiction novel relates an odyssey of discovery and confusion, catalyzed by psychedelic drugs, over a year's time: the hippie era of 1967. With humor and passion he tells a story of wrestling with meaning and his own identity. Each chapter is a self-contained story, discrete links in a plotline propelled by epiphanies and vanities, from "Before Almost Everything Changed" and his "Czechoslovak Awakening," with its two fateful capsules, to his "Dark Night of the Soul" and beyond. He explores life as myth, witnesses the solution to the paradoxical mystery of waves and particles, ruminates on the difference between truth and fact, and experiences a sense of liberation that gradually becomes something else. He delves into chivalrous love, a child's anticipation of the adult world, the tao of momentary observation; sees a miracle, loses himself in the crowded crash pads of Haight-Ashbury, seeks answers in astrology and infatuation, wrestles with the capriciousness of his myriad selves, and forty years later, looking back, figures a few things out.
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From the Author

Having categorized "I Think, Therefore Who Am I?" as a memoir--because that's the niche publishers now prefer for first person nonfiction--I fear that a prospective reader might assume that my book is something it isn't. That is, a flat recitation of the past; a book not likely to hold one's interest. Having read a few memoirs since this one came out, and in fact having written and published what might be called its sequel ("Digging Deeper," A Memoir of the Seventies), I would point out that "I Think, Therefore Who Am I?" has all the elements--and the feel--of a novel: characters, plot, dialogue, and, if not exactly suspense, a sense of euphoria that gives way to dread as the protagonist moves toward what in retrospect is a logical conclusion. It also is written with an ironic "looking back at the past tone," and does not lack for humor. I should also point out that although I published this book myself, it was "discovered" last year by an Italian publisher and can be found in bookstores there under the title "Penso, dunque cho sono."

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