I found a kindred voice, too late

Ghosts of My Life - Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures by Mark Fisher

Book cover

Until the beginning of 2021 I had no recollection of knowing about Mark Fisher, or his writing. Being name-dropped in a few unrelated recent videos and podcasts, and having a connection to hauntology tickled something in my brain.

I watched his talk, The Slow Cancellation of the Future, and it struck such a nerve with me I grabbed his book 'Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures'.

not only has the future not arrived, it no longer seems possible.

This is a collection of Mark's writing (articles, reviews, etc.) on his blog or other publications. Out-of-the-gate he starts with Sapphire and Steel episodes, mentioned in his talk. How this odd series (even back then) resonates even more the further we move away from it.

This is the first book I've read on the Kindle where I highlighted passages and made notes. So much in Mark's writing touched on ideas/feelings I had when consuming the same media.

Ever been in pub or bar (remember them?) and a friend-of-a-friend would sit at your table and you suddenly found a kindred spirit? They liked the same things you did, but had a slightly different take on them. Reading this book was like Mark had sat down at my table in the Cork & Cheese and Friday night just whizzed by.

those who can’t remember the past are condemned to have it resold to them forever.

Though this book came out in 2014, and Mark died in 2017, I found myself comparing a lot of what he wrote to events from 2020. The pandemic, lockdowns, the virulent spread of disinformation via social media.

This quote nagged at me...

The postcolonial melancholic doesn’t (just) refuse to accept change; at some level, he refuses to accept that change has happened at all.

...that maybe this is what Trump followers were feeling. MAGA cope of the big lie?

I hadn't seen or heard some of the things in the reviews but have jotted them down for later. I may go and revisit some of the albums from Burial, John Foxx, and Tricky that he writes about. See if I agree with his take on these. I don't know if I will, but that's ok.

The album is like the faded ten year-old tag of a kid whose Rave dreams have been crushed by a series of dead end jobs.

I've a list of other books of his work waiting for me to consume this year, and thoughts of the futures now lost without his coverage.