Weird Interpellation

Winter 2014 / Summer 2015

Graham Harman, Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy, Winchester UK and Washington USA, Zero Books 2012, 268pp; £14.99 paperback

Graham Harman’s Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy argues that the fiction of American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) instantiates his philosophical model of object-oriented ontology avant la lettre. Harman’s central claim is that Lovecraft’s narrators anticipate the epistemology of Harman’s brand of Speculative Realism, and that this epistemology - rather than Lovecraft’s semi-coherent ‘mythos’ of alien deities and arcane books - makes Lovecraft’s fiction most distinctive. Harman argues that we can read Lovecraft’s stories as literary representations of the perceiving subject encountering the object, which always exceeds both understanding and description. Harman performs the most thoroughgoing analysis of Lovecraft’s style yet published in English, tracing the rhetorical turns that make Lovecraft’s writing so powerfully ‘weird’. No one seriously interested in understanding Lovecraft’s work or its reception can afford to ignore Harman’s book. […]

84/85 Societies of Control