Levi Bryant recently posted a sincerely warmhearted (and informative) piece in gratitude for Graham Harman. Levi, reflecting on his own “correlationist and social constructivist” past, describes how Graham transformed his thinking and being.
Graham changed all that, irrevocably transforming my thought as well as my life and giving me a philosophical direction that I never before had. It seems like he’s had that impact on a lot of people– touching their research in all sorts of ways both inside and outside of philosophy –in one way or another. However one might feel about Harman– and a lot of people have had pretty unfair, unkind words for him –it’s undeniable that he’s been a true voice these last few years, significantly impacting philosophy and cultural theory. He’s gotten people talking, regardless of whether they agree; and that suggests that whether or not his claims are true or false, he has, as Lacan would say, “hit the real” of theory and cultural analysis as practiced in the humanities and social sciences. Paradoxically, despite arguing that all objects are withdrawn and that they never touch, he has been one of those actants that Latour likes to talk about that mobilize all sorts of other actants and that change assemblages.
Levi goes on to describe his initial encounter with Graham. Then he gives some very helpful and hopeful points about four Harmanian things that transformed his thought: withdrawal, vacuum packed objects, translation, and anthropodecentrism. Simply a wonderful post.