The roller-coaster ride that is Weak Planet, the whiplashes that Wai Chee Dimock inflicts on her readers, are deliberate and purposeful. A scholar who maneuvers across the fields of science, technology, sexuality, medicine, and literature, she dazes as well as dazzles us with leapfrogging arguments about our collective future organized into brief sections sometimes more grenades than bullet points.

The carnival ride is structural, not stylistic; it is the weak in Weak Planet. Dimock (2013: 732) lurches across literary-historical landscapes no longer emplotted but “a phenomenal register more or less ad hoc, more or less episodic, namely, the impromptu meetings occasioned by citations and cross-references, and the proliferating threads of association that result.” This is weak theory—glossed as “shaky paradigms with incomplete resolutions” (1)—applied to the real world: a planet in disarray. “The starting point here is precarity,” Dimock (2019) writes in response...

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