Object-Orientated Literary Criticism

In the latest issue of New Literary History, Graham Harman, Timothy Morton and Jane Bennett discuss object-orientated literary criticism.

Harman’s piece begins with an overview of his approach, which is a useful starter for those unfamiliar, but moves into criticism of other literary approaches including New Historicism and Deconstruction. One short passage:

The call for “the death of the author” needs to be complemented by a new call for “the death of the culture.” Rather than emphasize the social conditions that gave rise to any given work, we ought to do the contrary, and look at how works reverse or shape what might have been expected in their time and place, or at how some withstand the earthquakes of the centuries much better than others. To call someone “a product of their time and place” is never a compliment; neither should it be a compliment when aimed at a literary work.

[Update: While the pieces are subscription only, they have been uploaded here.]

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