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The Weird and the Eerie

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The most sustained readings concern Nigel Kneale’s TV work and the fiction of Alan Garner under the title “Eerie Thanatos.

This explains the embrace of Lovecraft’s weird realism by philosophers challenging phenomenological paradigms, or leaning toward the radical end of “Thing Theory,” where things escape routine imprisonment inside the implicit hierarchy of the subject/object binary.Gothic criticism, of which there is a vast boiling vat these days, has been rendering down the ectoplasmic energy of “spectrality” into sound bites for 25 years, while critics seem to arrive pre-loaded with cookie-cutter cribs from Freud’s “The Uncanny,” in which they laboriously explain yet again that the term unheimlich means rather more literally the unhomely in German, but that the “homely” is housed inside the “unhomely,” the outside in the inside, the strange in the familiar.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. But Fisher leaves space for the lesser-known late works of Kneale in the 1970s, the effectively creepy haunted house tale The Stone Tape and the last, despairing Quatermass series from 1979, made on the cusp of the collapse of postwar Keynesian consensus and the death rattle of ’60s utopianism as Thatcher came to power. Mark Fisher is/was/will long be loved, missed and appreciated as a first genius of the 21st century. THIS BOOK WAS PUBLISHED in the United Kingdom on December 15, 2016; Mark Fisher died on the January 13, 2017. In this extended assay, author Mark Fisher argues that the Weird and the Eerie are closely related but distinct modes, each possessing its own distinct properties.

What they both have in common is they’ve been associated as sub-genres of horror, both are preoccupied with the strange, unsettling, as something being wrong. G. Wells to the impenetrable mumblings of punk band The Fall; obscure Rainer Werner Fassbinder TV shows from Germany; Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, and Andrei Tarkovsky films; Nigel Kneale TV series from the 1970s; the music of Joy Division; The Shining; the unclassifiable fiction of Alan Garner and Christopher Priest; Jonathan Glazer’s extraordinary avant-garde SF film Under the Skin; and surprising appearances of Margaret Atwood’s early fiction Surfacing and Christopher Nolan’s portentous quantum SF blockbuster Interstellar (which receives a great defense). He almost makes me want to watch Under the Skin again, even though it's probably the worst film I've seen in a decade. He wrote beautifully, of course, but the act of writing is secondary to his observation of the world, the ability to see the world aslant, to make of the the ordinary something extraordinary. If you have any interest in the state of the world, you must read Fisher's 'Capitalist Realism' - the best book on its subject and in its class.

I have written some of my personal reflections on his death here, and there has been a significant outpouring of reaction to the news across the internet around the world.Yet if the entity or object is here, then the categories which we have up until now used to make sense of the world cannot be valid. Although this event inevitably turns The Weird and the Eerie into one of Fisher’s last statements, I want to read the book on its own considerable merits rather than falling into the trap of regarding it as some kind of tragic sign-post pointing forward.

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