World of Failing Machines, The

World of Failing Machines, The

Speculative Realism and Literature

How speculative realism impacts the art of literary criticism.


The World of Failing Machines offers the first full-length discussion of the relationship between speculative realism and literary criticism. In identifying some of the most significant coordinates of speculative-realist thought, this book asks what the implications might be for the study of literature. It is argued that the first casualty might well be the form of the traditional essay.


It is rare that one can claim a truly groundbreaking approach to critical theory but this book has all the ingredients. What you hold in your hands is a lively and accessible discourse on reading and (literary) writing that cuts through the obfuscation to reveal a really new approach. ~ Bill Ashcroft, Professor of English Literature, UNSW

“Unputdownable! This book has enlarged my mind!” ~ Cha: An Asian Literary Journal

“What kind of existence do objects have, separate from our subjective interpretations of them? This is the provocative and controversial question posed by OOO and speculative realism, and in this book Grant Hamilton is the first to apply it to the most powerful and captivating of all objects: the book. What kind of object is a literary text and what existence can it have, independent of our subjective readings? Hamilton’s analysis is as fascinating as this question and the powerful little object that is this book takes on a life of its own, throwing open existing ideas of reader and text and re-interrogating theories of meaning.” ~ Hong Kong Review of Books

Grant Hamilton
Grant Hamilton Grant Hamilton is Associate Professor of English Literature at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He teaches and writes in the areas of wo...

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