Mark Fisher – much more than a favourite writer
I’ll begin as humbly as I can. I’m a anxious character, who hasn’t quite yet figured out how to deal with criticism from others and the shame that often follows. This makes me uncomfortable paying respects to a writer who has inspired me as much as any other, aware of the gaping discrepancies in my academic knowledge of the subjects that have preoccupied me for nearly a decade.
I always felt slightly silly quoting Mark Fisher in my own blogs and spoken works. My thoughts always felt vastly inadequate in contrast to the value I placed on their source. I always felt that I’d probably misrepresented what he was saying. Nonetheless, I have referred to his writings many times, maybe as a need to celebrate the emotional connection they gave me.
It was indeed something of an emotional enlightening coming across both Fisher’s book Capitalist Realism and his blog Kpunk in 2010. I cannot think of another writer before him who better helped me construct a vocabulary to articulate how life felt under Capitalism in the 21st century. As soon as I read the first chapter of Capitalist Realism I almost clairvoyantly read the Kpunk texts on mental illness, the music of Joy Division, and the shortcomings of ‘starvationist’ leftwing and environmental perspectives before I’d even found them. His words made my own much stronger.
The news obviously broke on social media, and after seeing the words of a few who are more than half a decade younger than I saying how Capitalist Realism was instrumental in shaping their current political ideas and activism, I would speculate that it was the accessibility of the text, in contrast with Jameson, Zizek, and Lacan, that could, in retrospect, be seen as a building block in a 21st century social movement we cannot currently see because we amidst the formation of it. Hopeful thinking, but necessary thinking.
Below I have listed both books I read by him and a list of blogs that meant so much to me: