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Weird Realism:
Lovecraft and Philosophy

By Graham Harman

Back Cover Text


As Hölderlin was to Martin Heidegger and Mallarmé to Jacques Derrida, so is H.P. Lovecraft to the Speculative Realist philosophers. Lovecraft was one of the brightest stars of the horror and science fiction magazines, but died in poverty and relative obscurity in the 1930s. In 2005 he was finally elevated from pulp status to the classical literary canon with the release of a Library of America volume dedicated to his work. The impact of Lovecraft on philosophy has been building for more than a decade. Initially championed by shadowy guru Nick Land at Warwick during the 1990s, he was later discovered to be an object of private fascination for all four original members of the twenty-first century Speculative Realist movement. In this book, Graham Harman extracts the basic philosophical concepts underlying Lovecrafts [sic] work, yielding a “weird realism” capable of freeing continental philosophy from its current soul-crushing impasse. Abandoning Heidegger’s pious references to Hölderlin and the Greeks, Harman develops a new philosophical mythology centered in such Lovecraftian figures as Cthulhu, Wilbur Whately [sic], and the rat-like monstrosity Brown Jenkin. The Miskatonic River replaces the Rhine and the Ister, while Hölderlin’s Caucasus gives way to Lovecraft’s Antarctic mountains of madness.

GRAHAM HARMAN is Associate Provost for Research Administration and Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.


Preliminary Note

Part One: Lovecraft and Philosophy
  • A Writer of Gaps and Horror
  • The Problem with Paraphrase
  • The Inherent Stupidity of All Content
  • The Background of Being
  • Not Unfaithful to the Spirit of the Thing
  • The Phenomenological Gap
  • A Lovecraftian Ontography
  • On Ruination
  • A Lonely and Curious Country
  • Comic and Tragic Intentionality
  • Style and Content

Part Two: Lovecraft’s Style At Work
  • The Call of Cthulhu
  • The Colour Out of Space
  • The Dunwich Horror
  • The Whisperer in Darkness
  • At the Mountains of Madness
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth
  • The Dreams in the Witch House
  • The Shadow Out of Time

Part Three: Weird Realism
  • Gathering the Threads
  • Fusion
  • Fission
  • The Taxonomic Fallacy
  • Weird Content


Bibliographic Information

Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy. By Graham Harman. Winchester, UK and Washington, USA: Zero Books; 2012; ISBN 978-1-78099-252-5; softcover; 278 pages.

Purchasing This Book

This book may be purchased in softcover from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or directly from the publisher, Zero Books.

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