The World of Failing Machines

My review of Grant Hamilton’s THE WORLD OF FAILING MACHINES is now live on The Hong Kong Review of Books.

HONG KONG REVIEW OF BOOKS 香港書評

Terence Blake discusses OOO and convergent and divergent readings of an important new book on speculative realism and literature.

FALLIBLE DIVERGENCES: literary theory after speculative realism

Grant Hamilton, The World of Failing Machines (Zero Books, 2016), 144pp.

Grant Hamilton poses an interesting and topical question in his book The World of Failing Machines: “What would a speculative-realist literary criticism look like?” (1).

In order to answer this provocative question, Hamilton – a professor at CUHK – first gives a brief sketch of the history of speculative realism and of its main variants, before finally deciding to restrict his discussion to one of these variants, Graham Harman’s object-oriented philosophy (9). Hamilton does a good job of resuming the history and principal tenets of speculative realism, acknowledging that there is a ritualistic aspect to this gesture as “nearly every book on the subject began with a reprise of the…

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