Egress: On Mourning, Melancholy and the Fisher-Function

Many admirers of Fisher’s work — myself included — came to his writings through identifications with these most personal of experiences. This mode of writing was, for many, Mark’s most affective critical register. However, Fisher’s writings on depression were not in themselves depressive. Their power lay in their immanence to his emotional state and his talent for making the affects of this state transductive. The question painfully remains: why did this process, in the end, not work for Fisher himself? Or rather, why did it stop working? Whatever the answer, it does not mean that his writings must stop working for us here, right now. Such a question is central to the Fisher-Function, making it necessary to contend with the political problematics of mental health discourses honestly and from a place where the personal and political implications of Mark’s thought feels most explicit; from a place of lingering grief and abject depression where the rupture both necessitates a renewed intensity of productive thought and makes traumatically thinkable the act of following Fisher through to the void.

A forthcoming self-published book on the legacy and work of writer and philosopher Mark Fisher, narrated in orbit of his death as experienced by a community of students and staff at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2017.

Beginning with a close analysis of Fisher’s philosophical trajectory, from his days as a PhD student at the University of Warwick to the development of his now-unfinished Acid Communism, this book considers the ways that Fisher’s death can be understood and processed through — and contribute to a continuation of — his key works and concepts.

Taking the word “egress”, as used in 2016’s The Weird and the Eerie, as its starting point — a word that took on a particular resonance at Goldsmiths — this book goes on to consider the politics of death in a way that is indebted to Fisher’s own forms of cultural criticism, ruminating on personal experience in the hope of making it productively impersonal.

182 pages | Winter 2018 | £8.99