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Edited and with an introduction by Matt Colquhoun, this collection of lecture notes and transcriptions reveals acclaimed writer and blogger Mark Fisher in his element — the classroom — outlining a project that Fisher’s death left so bittersweetly unfinished.
Beginning with that most fundamental of questions — “Do we really want what we say we want?” — Fisher explores the relationship between desire and capitalism, and wonders what new forms of desire we might still excavate from the past, present, and future. From the emergence and failure of the counterculture in the 1970s to the continued development of his left-accelerationist line of thinking, this volume charts a tragically interrupted course for thinking about the raising of a new kind of consciousness, and the cultural and political implications of doing so.
For Fisher, this process of consciousness raising was always, fundamentally, psychedelic — just not in the way that we might think…
Mark Fisher (1968 – 2017) was a co-founder of Zero Books and, later, Repeater Books. His blog, k-punk, defined critical writing for a generation. He wrote three books, Capitalist Realism, Ghosts of My Life and The Weird and the Eerie, and was based at the Visual Cultures department at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Matt Colquhoun is a writer and photographer from Hull, East Yorkshire. He currently lives in London and blogs at xenogothic.com.
“Mark Fisher was a brilliant public speaker. He found new connections between music, psychoanalysis, and politics. His lectures opened the world, making it available not just for critique but for comradeship.”
“Mark’s unparalleled ability to infuse ideas with life comes across beautifully in these lectures. Throughout his work, he never stopped believing in and working towards an escape from capitalism – and this series of talks finds Mark weaving his way through working-class history, countercultural libidinal movements, and high theory in an unwavering effort to find just such an escape.”
“Mark Fisher has proven to be one of the most influential thinkers of our time. This influence has been exerted not only via his books, his blog, his talks, but also – crucially – his teaching. This volume offers an invaluable insight into Mark’s understanding of postcapitalist desire by giving the reader a glimpse of how he approached it with his students. The lectures are a fantastic resource for those of us interested in consciousness, counterculture, and communism. To read them is to remember, once again, Mark’s relentless appetite for the emancipation of desire from capital.”
“How can the libidinal infrastructure of capitalism be confronted and reconfigured for communism? These lectures, intimate and exploratory, don’t have all the answers — more vital than that, they show the necessity of this wrenching question in our catastrophic times.”