Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, you guys! Did you hear about the “new materialism”? No? Well you have to read this then, it’s the bestest most original philosophy out there. Just look at this introduction – doesn’t it make you really excited about this new big thing? No, not the “speculative turn” – that’s so 5 years ago. That seemed like a good idea at the time but it turned out to be a turn down the wrong alley. No, not the “object-oriented philosophy” – that is so 6 years ago and has been exposed as a big joke. No one, like, even reads that shit anymore.
Get ready, get set, get excited about the next big thing! Or at least this is what this Introduction wants you to do. How new is this “new materialism”? As new as they come! What is so “materialist” about it? It’s a big secret, ya’ll.
In academia, revolutionary and radical ideas are actualized through an engagement with scholars and scholarly traditions of the canonized past. Contemporary generations read, or more often reread older texts, resulting in “new” readings that do not fit the dominant reception of these texts… It is in the resonances between old and new readings and re-readings that a “new metaphysics” might announce itself… It rather traverses and thereby rewrites thinking as a whole, leaving nothing untouched, redirecting every possible idea according to its new sense of orientation.
Translation: academics read and reread books. New materialism is about reading old books anew, by new people with new ideas (and cool new words). Things will emerge as we stubbornly read the same books over and over again. Maybe we’ll throw in some new unexpected books, like, you know, new stuff from other disciplines?
An endorsement by the great wizard of online philosophy (Graham Harman) makes me want to read this immediately – that dude knows his philosophical fashions! But I suspect, judging by the introduction, this will have little or nothing to do with “materialism” and much to do with “new” verbal tricks and ways for bored academics to amuse themselves with new toys.
But I might be wrong! This might indeed be the next big thing!