The Quadruple Object by Graham Harman ****

Reading dates: 26 January – 28 March 2014

I chose this book for our Dialectical Materialism book group. I wanted to see whether object oriented ontology would help us to think about how change might come about. Also, I wanted to know about OOO, fashionable as it is. Harman’s book is fascinating and surprisingly easy to read. Every time I picked it up, I got ‘in-the-zone’ with it with the added perceptive bonus that the world around me became more colourful, more interesting and I became more curious and observant. The discussion we had on friday night was probably one of our best, mainly because we listened to bits of podcasts where Harman rejects a political application to his system. That’s precisely what we were trying to do. Not that we got that far. I resolved to read Levi Bryant, an object oriented marxist.

As book-choser, I cooked for the group of 5. This meant that I missed many wonderful points (I could hear the natter) in the interest of not burning the tofu. It is a shame as this book made us speak. I wanted more and perhaps I should have provided a less sensuous experience and more take away pizza. Harman also made me draw:

Quadruple

The analogy between Harman’s system and playing cards is vivid and I did not understand why colour had not been an option in the book’s diagrammes. Most of the discussions I had and the ones I withdrew from (ho ho) were about understanding, about finding phenomenological experiences and examples of what the system is and how it works. As consort host, Neil provided us with precisely the right object to analyse: the quadruple nut biscuit. Its surface was clear; its depth, bottomless.

Quadruple nut

But just in case you think us comrades have no humour or only read books and know nothing of life, I will tell you that one of the best moment was Ellie’s re-acting of the scene, quadruple biscuit in hand (the other was reminiscing about electroclash).