A poetic meditation on the challenges and pleasures of contemporary speculative fiction

Stéphane VANDERHAEGHE, Dear Incomprehension. On American Speculative Fiction. University of Alabama Press. (https://www.uapress.ua.edu/9780817361372/dear-incomprehension/)

A poetic meditation on the challenges and pleasures of contemporary speculative fiction

Winner of the Elizabeth Agree Prize in American Literary Studies

Dear Incomprehension : On American Speculative Fiction is a thought-provoking exploration of the fascinating field of contemporary speculative fiction, a genre that transcends boundaries and encompasses science fiction, fabulist tales, modern fairy tales, and experimental narratives that challenge the very essence of storytelling and reading. 

Written as a philosophical essay that mirrors the unorthodox nature of the texts it analyzes, Dear Incomprehension examines American works that defy traditional narrative devices such as plot, character, logic, and even legibility. Drawing on a number of philosophical theories, among them object-oriented ontology and speculative realism, Vanderhaeghe argues that these unconventional works resist the standard tools of criticism, demanding instead a novel perspective and approach. 

An in-depth resource for scholars and students of contemporary literature, philosophy, and digital literary studies, Dear Incomprehension offers a fresh framework for analyzing experimental fiction and alternative modes of meaning-making. It is a must-read for those seeking to grasp the complexities and nuances of American experimental and speculative fiction. 
Dear Incomprehension is our new guide to critical failure. It is a thrilling experience of the nexus between contemporary American speculative fiction and poststructuralism’s realist and materialist aftereffects. Vanderhaeghe’s readings are smart, lively, perceptive, and often surprising. They turn the contradictions at the core of literary meaning, referential realism, and critical authority around in circles. The astonishing afflictions of speculation shine forth in a new light.”
—Zachary Tavlin, author of Glancing Visions : Surface and Depth in Nineteenth-Century American Literature