The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism, edited by Levi Bryant, Nick Srnicek and Graham Harman (re.press Melbourne, 2011)
Review By Vaughan Rapatahana
This is not a book for the ‘average’ reader. It’s difficult enough for the mythical ‘trained academic’ to digest some of the somersaulting phrases and dense terminology sprinkled throughout its over 400 e-book only pages (downloadable for free, by the way) – more so in some chapters than in others, for this is a collection of policy statements and concomitant rebuttals by over 20 very distinctive and quite idiosyncratic writers. Take – purely as random – this sentence from Reza Negarestani:
The exclusive stance of the organism in regard to its path to death is the very expression of the insurmountable truth of death within the organic horizon as a dissipative tendency which is supposed to mobilize the conservative condition of the organism toward death
My overall feelings – at times – after reading some such sections was best summarized by: ‘how can these guys write like this and stand there straight-faced’?
Now to be fair to the contributors also, there is a tremendous amount of clever and radical and worthwhile thought throughout this tome too and it is because of this I will attempt to summarize the overall tenor of this book, for there is no way whatsoever in which one can delineate the details of each and every piece involved, in a book review such as this. Rather it is a dip-into book, methinks: one delves here and there as much guided by the author involved as by the topic pertaining. Read more »