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Not No Longer but Not Yet

Jenny Turner: Mark Fisher’s Ghosts, 9 May 2019

k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher 
edited by Darren Ambrose.
Repeater, 817 pp., £25, November 2018, 978 1 912248 28 5
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... Mark Fisher​ killed himself on 13 January 2017, at the house in Felixstowe he shared with his wife and young son. His mental health had been deteriorating, according to the Ipswich Star’s report of the inquest, since the previous May. His wife, Zoe, told the inquest that they had been seeking help for him, but the local NHS trust hadn’t been able to offer anything beyond a telephone chat with a GP ...

The wearer as much as the frock

Peter Campbell, 9 April 1992

Building Capitalism 
by Linda Clarke.
Routledge, 316 pp., £65, December 1991, 0 415 01552 9
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The City Shaped 
by Spiro Kostof.
Thames and Hudson, 352 pp., £24, September 1991, 0 500 34118 4
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A New London 
by Richard Rogers and Mark Fisher.
Penguin, 255 pp., £8.99, March 1992, 0 14 015794 8
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... implicit denial that London is a rational entity has roots in history. Richard Rogers’s and Mark Fisher’s book, which suggests all sorts of things architecture and planning could do for London, does not propose that housing and education provision be centralised. Their general drift is that we have become dowdy and depressing and should go out ...

Blood Boiling

Paul Foot: Corporate takeover, 22 February 2001

Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain 
by George Monbiot.
Macmillan, 430 pp., £12.99, September 2000, 0 333 90164 9
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No Logo 
by Naomi Klein.
Flamingo, 501 pp., £8.99, January 2001, 0 00 653040 0
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... the corporations – David Clark on freedom of information, Nigel Griffiths on consumer influence, Mark Fisher on the arts – has been summarily sacked. Meanwhile, corporation tax and capital gains tax have been cut to ribbons, but income tax has stayed the same. The theoretical regulators of corporate power have become its champions. Naomi Klein’s ...

Town-Cramming

Christopher Turner: Cities, 6 September 2001

Cities for a Small Country 
by Richard Rogers and Anne Power.
Faber, 310 pp., £14.99, November 2000, 0 571 20652 2
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Urban Futures 21: A Global Agenda for 21st-Century Cities 
by Peter Hall and Ulrich Pfeiffer.
Spon, 384 pp., £19.99, July 2000, 0 415 24075 1
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... the head of the movement for reform in London. (They also led to A New London, a book written with Mark Fisher, then Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Arts and Culture, which was essentially the Labour Party’s environment manifesto for the 1992 election.) In 1995, Rogers became the first architect to deliver the Reith Lectures. He spoke about the ...

Brexitism

Alan Finlayson, 18 May 2017

... to work test, the job interview we did not pass. All these things contribute to what the late Mark Fisher called ‘the privatisation of stress’. We alone are responsible for our future yet feel powerless to shape it; ‘they’ have the power and in the future they are planning there is no place for us. Brexitism articulates a refusal of that ...

How to make a Greek god smile

Lorraine Daston, 10 June 1999

Wonder, the Rainbow and the Aesthetics of Rare Experiences 
by Philip Fisher.
Harvard, 191 pp., £21.95, January 1999, 0 674 95561 7
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... In his lucid and bold meditation on the aesthetics of the extraordinary in art and science, Philip Fisher seeks to restore it to its Cartesian pride of place as a passion fit for grownups and intellectuals. It is a tonic to put down the latest issue of a scholarly journal and pick up this short but ample book, in which ...

Snarly Glitters

August Kleinzahler: Roy Fisher, 20 April 2006

The Long and the Short of It: Poems 1955-2005 
by Roy Fisher.
Bloodaxe, 400 pp., £12, June 2005, 1 85224 701 0
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... In a 1979 review of Roy Fisher’s collection of poems The Thing about Joe Sullivan, probably the most likeable collection by a not always likeable poet, John Ash wrote: ‘In a better world, he would be as widely known and highly praised as Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney.’ This would be a very strange world, and not necessarily a better one ...

In a Dry Place

Nicolas Tredell, 11 October 1990

On the Look-Out: A Partial Autobiography 
by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 234 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 85635 758 8
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In Two Minds: Guesses at Other Writers 
by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 296 pp., £18.95, September 1990, 0 85635 877 0
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... of Chas S. was one of its main achievements’ (see Letters to an Editor, edited by Mark Fisher). It certainly helped to suggest that the senior servant of the Crown might also be an honourable servant of the Muse. In the Second World War, Sisson served the Crown not as a civil servant but as a common soldier. He tells this soldier’s tale ...

How to Save the City-Dweller

Andrew Saint: Cities, 21 May 1998

Cities for a Small Planet 
by Richard Rogers.
Faber, 180 pp., £9.99, December 1997, 0 571 17993 2
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... he knows and loves best: London. He has been here before in A New London, knocked out jointly with Mark Fisher before the 1992 Election to ginger up Labour policy for the capital. The things Rogers advocates are still the same, but they sound more hopeful because now some of them may actually happen. He begins with government: London must have one, like ...

Reasons for Corbyn

William Davies, 13 July 2017

... all as equivalent and accessible in the here and now. ‘In 1981,’ the late cultural theorist Mark Fisher wrote in Ghosts of My Life (2014), ‘the 1960s seemed much further away than they do today.’ Facebook extends this logic to people’s own personal history, informing them of what banal activity they were engaged in this time last year, or ...

What kept Hector and Andromache warm in windy Troy?

David Simpson: ‘Vehement Passions’, 19 June 2003

The Vehement Passions 
by Philip Fisher.
Princeton, 268 pp., £18.95, May 2002, 0 691 06996 4
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... soul), no longer looks so modern. But the declared redundancy of the classics would continue to mark much of the scientific project throughout the long modernity which may or may not have now come to an end, wrecked or perhaps just beached on the shores of the Postmodern. Philip Fisher’s new book, however, makes a ...

Short Cuts

Nick Richardson: Aubergines are no longer merely aubergines, 21 April 2016

... !document.querySelector("img.emoji")))twemoji.parse(document.body)}var t=document.createElement("style");t.type="text/css";var m="img.emoji{height:1em;width:1em;margin:0 .05em 0 .1em;vertical-align:-0.1em;}";if(t.styleSheet){t.styleSheet.cssText=m}else{t.appendChild(document.createTextNode(m))}document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0].appendChild(t);var a=document ...

Going up to Heaven

Susan Pedersen: Before the Pill, 28 May 2009

Birth Control, Sex and Marriage in Britain 1918-60 
by Kate Fisher.
Oxford, 294 pp., £24, May 2008, 978 0 19 954460 8
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For Their Own Good: The Transformation of English Working-Class Health Culture, 1880-1970 
by Lucinda McCray Beier.
Ohio State, 409 pp., £64.95, October 2008, 978 0 8142 1094 9
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... mostly working-class English women and men whose recollections form the raw material of Kate Fisher’s book would have had little trouble understanding this omission. Caps and condoms were messy, uncomfortable, expensive and required a kind of calculation that turned intimacy sour. One would get ‘nicely carried away and going up to heaven ...

Protestant Country

George Bernard, 14 June 1990

Humanism, Reform and the Reformation: The Career of Bishop John Fisher 
edited by Brendan Bradshaw and Eamon Duffy.
Cambridge, 260 pp., £27.50, January 1989, 0 521 34034 9
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The Blind Devotion of the People: Popular Religion and the English Reformation 
by Robert Whiting.
Cambridge, 302 pp., £30, July 1989, 0 521 35606 7
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The Reformation of Cathedrals: Cathedrals in English Society, 1485-1603 
by Stanford Lehmberg.
Princeton, 319 pp., £37.30, March 1989, 0 691 05539 4
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Bonfires and Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England 
by David Cressy.
Weidenfeld, 271 pp., £25, October 1989, 0 297 79343 8
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The Birthpangs of Protestant England: Religious and Cultural Change in the 16th and 17th Centuries 
by Patrick Collinson.
Macmillan, 188 pp., £29.50, February 1989, 0 333 43971 6
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Life’s Preservative against Self-Killing 
by John Sym, edited by Michael MacDonald.
Routledge, 342 pp., £29.95, February 1989, 0 415 00639 2
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Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion 1640-1660 
by Nigel Smith.
Oxford, 396 pp., £40, February 1989, 0 19 812879 7
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... break with Rome. Only one did so outspokenly – and he was rewarded by a martyr’s death. John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, was executed in June 1535 for refusing (like Thomas More) to take the oath of succession. He was prepared to swear to the succession itself, which he believed that King and nobles were entitled to change, but was unwilling to swear to ...

Smoking big cigars

David Herd, 23 July 1992

Goodstone 
by Fred Voss.
Bloodaxe, 180 pp., £7.95, November 1991, 1 85224 198 5
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... richly resourced language would necessarily distort the subject. Writing about the work of Roy Fisher in Thomas Hardy and British Poetry, Donald Davie takes Fisher to be ‘restricting himself as self-denyingly as Larkin to the urbanised and industrialised landscapes of modern England’ and identifies a ...

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