As Holderlin was to Martin Heidegger and Mallarme 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 the work of Lovecraft, yielding a weird realism capable of freeing continental philosophy from its current soul-crushing impasse. Abandoning pious references by Heidegger to Holderlin and the Greeks, Harman develops a new philosophical mythology centered in such Lovecraftian figures as Cthulhu, Wilbur Whately, and the rat-like monstrosity Brown Jenkin.
The Miskatonic River replaces the Rhine and the Ister, while Holderlin'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. He was born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1968, the first of three sons of hippie parents who met at a Rolling Stones concert in Chicago. He received his undergraduate degree from the classical liberal arts program at St. John's College, Annapolis (1990). His Master's Degree was done at Penn State (1991) under the renowned philosopher Alphonso Lingis, and focused on Levinas. He completed his Ph.D. at DePaul University in Chicago (1999), with a dissertation that became his first book. While finishing his doctoral studies, he worked as a Chicago sportswriter from 1996-98. In September 2000 he began work in the Department of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo. Egypt has become his base for travel to more than 60 countries and the composition of ten books in less than a decade. He is very fond of animals, and became a vegetarian for ethical reasons at the age of 7.