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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k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher 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 ...

Short Cuts

Nick Richardson: The Classic Apocalypse, 7 January 2021

... cool how one kind of apocalypse prevented us from acting out another). In Capitalist Realism Mark Fisher used them as a metaphor for our mindless nine-to-five-ing: capitalism is a ‘zombie-maker’ and ‘the living flesh it converts into dead labour is ours, and the zombies it makes are us.’ It’s no stretch to imagine either mode of ...

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 ...

I’m being a singer

Andrew O’Hagan: Dandy Highwaymen, 8 October 2020

Sweet Dreams: The Story of the New Romantics 
by Dylan Jones.
Faber, 663 pp., £20, October 2020, 978 0 571 35343 9
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... about the future, but about its disappearance – a ‘nostalgia for the future’, as the late Mark Fisher put it in Ghosts of My Life (a title taken from a song by the proto New Romantic group Japan).*In British pop, it was Bowie and Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music who came up with the idea that you weren’t just a singer acting out your life, or a fan ...


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 ...


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 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 ...

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 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 ...

One Click at a Time

Owen Hatherley, 30 June 2016

PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future 
by Paul Mason.
Allen Lane, 368 pp., £8.99, June 2016, 978 0 14 197529 0
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Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World without Work 
by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams.
Verso, 256 pp., £12.99, October 2015, 978 1 78478 096 8
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... about how we got here, Srnicek and Williams – like so many recent writers, from Owen Jones to Mark Fisher to Philip Mirowski – lay great stress on the think-tanks (the Mont Pelerin Society and the like) that had their solutions ready when Keynesianism faltered in the mid-1970s. The ‘folk politics’ of Climate Camps, single-issue campaigns and ...

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 ...

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