Egress Review:
“Un lenguaje común” by Óscar Brox

Here’s a lovely review of the Spanish translation of Egress by Óscar Brox, published on Détour. I’m fascinated by the threads that Spanish reviewers are pulling out, compared to those written on home soil. I did get a general sense that the response to my book in the UK was as some sort of perversion (which is fine by me), changing the context in which Fisher has been perceived over here (at times necessarily; at times seemingly going too far into my own concerns). But there’s something about Spanish readers having an awareness of the second-hand nature of the book, particularly as it is now in translation, coupled with a perhaps richer understanding of my own reference points, that makes for a series of “reviews” that are not so much promotional odes to the text and more like voices being added to the chorus. And they’re gradually convincing me of the value of a book that I’ve sort of tried to memory-hole, exhausted by the mixed emotions that I now have regarding it.

Below, two Google-translated snippets from Brox’s essay that resonate with my intentions wonderfully:

With Fisher, something happens that is similar to what happens with Owen Jones: his texts, often written looking at the ins and outs of British society, are capable of opening paths and pathways towards other cultural situations. Find parallels. Tune in to sensitivities through music, literature, or film. Matt Colquhoun points something out in his book that seems very valuable to me: perhaps Fisher was not a very original thinker, although he did not hide his influences or who he borrowed ideas from. However, he was the kind of theorist who knew how to improve on those ideas, how to develop them and take them a few steps further. And that is something very important, something that gives an advantage to his texts, that distances them from that feeling of a necessarily closed work. That leaves them, precisely, open. Waiting for someone to continue them, continue developing them. And that is what makes a book like this so special, almost so unique.

Brox continues:

In some ways, the litter of thinkers that emerged in the heat of the CCRU (the cybernetic culture research unit) is reminiscent of the creative sensibility that French post-structuralism manifested. Or how, suddenly, philosophy and its language were transformed almost into science fiction, into texts of an unleashed imagination, excessive and — why not — stomach-churning. Where some had the Nouveau Roman as an alibi, others have the music of Aphex Twin, Kode9 or Burial. And I would say that Colquhoun is quite perceptive in drawing lines between one and the other. To speak of the outside, to return to the importance of Lovecraft at a certain point in Fisher’s work and to look for the acid in the cracked electronics of Aphex Twin. His texts encourage that cross-pollination, that friendship. The usual. And they try to take it all one step further. And, incidentally, to update authors like Blanchot and Bataille, Simone Weil and Nick Land (who is more intense of the two?). All of this, by the way, without neglecting the feeling that Colquhoun is adding us to each page, summoning us to that vigil for Fisher that takes place in Kodwo Eshun’s apartment, in a pub where Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo is playing or in front of the Goldsmiths’ mural. Or put another way, that we never stop feeling that his text makes a community.

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