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What exactly are the Weird and the Eerie? In this new book, Mark Fisher argues that some of the most haunting and anomalous fiction of the 20th century belongs to these two modes. The Weird and the Eerie are closely related but distinct modes, each possessing its own distinct properties. Both have often been associated with Horror, yet this emphasis overlooks the aching fa What exactly are the Weird and the Eerie? In this new book, Mark Fisher argues that some of the most haunting and anomalous fiction of the 20th century belongs to these two modes. The Weird and the Eerie are closely related but distinct modes, each possessing its own distinct properties. Both have often been associated with Horror, yet this emphasis overlooks the aching fascination that such texts can exercise. The Weird and the Eerie both fundamentally concern the outside and the unknown, which are not intrinsically horrifying, even if they are always unsettling. Perhaps a proper understanding of the human condition requires examination of liminal concepts such as the weird and the eerie. These two modes will be analysed with reference to the work of authors such as H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, M.R. James, Christopher Priest, Joan Lindsay, Nigel Kneale, Daphne Du Maurier, Alan Garner and Margaret Atwood, and films by Stanley Kubrick, Jonathan Glazer and Christoper Nolan.


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What exactly are the Weird and the Eerie? In this new book, Mark Fisher argues that some of the most haunting and anomalous fiction of the 20th century belongs to these two modes. The Weird and the Eerie are closely related but distinct modes, each possessing its own distinct properties. Both have often been associated with Horror, yet this emphasis overlooks the aching fa What exactly are the Weird and the Eerie? In this new book, Mark Fisher argues that some of the most haunting and anomalous fiction of the 20th century belongs to these two modes. The Weird and the Eerie are closely related but distinct modes, each possessing its own distinct properties. Both have often been associated with Horror, yet this emphasis overlooks the aching fascination that such texts can exercise. The Weird and the Eerie both fundamentally concern the outside and the unknown, which are not intrinsically horrifying, even if they are always unsettling. Perhaps a proper understanding of the human condition requires examination of liminal concepts such as the weird and the eerie. These two modes will be analysed with reference to the work of authors such as H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, M.R. James, Christopher Priest, Joan Lindsay, Nigel Kneale, Daphne Du Maurier, Alan Garner and Margaret Atwood, and films by Stanley Kubrick, Jonathan Glazer and Christoper Nolan.

30 review for The Weird and the Eerie

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrick.G.P

    Mark Fisher’s essay on the weird and the eerie touches on many topics from fiction, film, music, and politics. For instance, he describes capital as inherently eerie, where the economic structure and balance of the world is built around something intangible and immaterial that still has such tremendous power to influence humanity in drastic ways. The Economic disasters of the last few years are examples of how this invisible force can destabilize society when manipulated correctly. The notion th Mark Fisher’s essay on the weird and the eerie touches on many topics from fiction, film, music, and politics. For instance, he describes capital as inherently eerie, where the economic structure and balance of the world is built around something intangible and immaterial that still has such tremendous power to influence humanity in drastic ways. The Economic disasters of the last few years are examples of how this invisible force can destabilize society when manipulated correctly. The notion that the weird and the eerie somehow transcend or alter our perception of the working order of the world is a very interesting one. In our day and age new ideas drastically shift the landscape of our times and indeed the very perception of our reality. Regarding pollution, global warming, food, immigration, and fuel the last decade has seen a drastic shift in ideas, moving away from the deeply established order of viewpoints and ideas. This drifts almost into the eerie as one almost can’t help feeling disoriented and disquieted when ideas that build up the foundation of your livelihood, transportation, and food are now obsolete and an entirely new way of looking at the world is required. In a political or geopolitical setting, it is interesting and frightening to see an almost purely emotional response to these new ideas, in much the same way one would respond with an encounter of the weird in a fictional setting. Fisher discusses that Lovecraft should replace Borges as the ultimate practitioner of the meta-narrative since people actually ended up believing in the existence of The Necronomicon from his work. What comes to mind for me here is that in a digital age where the validity of news and information has to be questioned, where the intent and driving force behind information may be out to harm or spread dissent. We’ve created a Borgesian snare out of our own information, which at first stood out as both weird and eerie, but now has somehow entered into the collective consciousness and become another everyday occurrence that we have to deal with. I find that to be something truly eerie. Fisher discusses many of my favorite works within fiction and film, where I really enjoyed his take on Lynch’s Mulholland Drive which I re-watched before reading his chapter. The idea that over-analyzing a piece of art (cinema, book, etc.) will remove the notion of the weird and the eerie, especially in the case of David Lynch’s work, where the whole point is not to understand but to experience the images and impulses on the screen. Even though works of ghostly, eerie and the weird do not benefit from over-analysis, the central themes are well discussed by Fisher. The very basic “there is something here where there should be nothing,” or “there is nothing here where there should be something” very effectively boils down the central elements in what makes these works of art so eerie and weird. The lack of any explanation, the obscure, the mystery in itself is the interesting part of these works and how they respond to an emotional state with me. There are also several works cited within that I got more interested in seeking out, such as The Picnic at Hanging Rock (both novel and film) and the works of Daphne Du Maurier beyond the movie adaptations of her work. A fascinating essay to say the least and I found myself drawn into Fisher's ideas very easily and felt an urge to continue the search for art that brings forth both the weird and the eerie. The most interesting viewpoints for me may revolve around these concepts and our perception of reality in society. It resonates heavily with some of my own thoughts and feelings on the subject, and even clarified and put into words notions that I’d been thinking about for some time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    Well-written and interesting, of course, but sadly didn't work for me in the same way as Fisher's excellent Ghosts of My Life. Where Ghosts felt personal and discursive, The Weird and the Eerie is clearly written as a starting point for studying its title subjects. The book posits that the weird is characterised by 'the presence of that which does not belong', while the eerie is 'constituted by a failure of absence or a failure of presence'. Which is fine, and the short essays herein – about fic Well-written and interesting, of course, but sadly didn't work for me in the same way as Fisher's excellent Ghosts of My Life. Where Ghosts felt personal and discursive, The Weird and the Eerie is clearly written as a starting point for studying its title subjects. The book posits that the weird is characterised by 'the presence of that which does not belong', while the eerie is 'constituted by a failure of absence or a failure of presence'. Which is fine, and the short essays herein – about fiction, music, film and TV – make a good case for each definition. But I feel no closer to understanding why the weird and the eerie need to be separated. The distinction may make sense, but is it important? I had hoped for more obscure examples, too, but the essays cover familiar ground: H.P. Lovecraft, David Lynch, Nigel Kneale, etc. I very much enjoyed the essay about The Fall – one of the only parts where Fisher's style, and passion for the source material, properly comes through. Much of the rest feels pared back to the point of dullness. TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  3. 4 out of 5

    Guy

    Fisher's last book may appear as a collection of essays, given chapter titles that speak to the work of a particular author or filmmaker (e.g.: Jonathan Glazer, H.P. Lovecraft, Nigel Kneale). But what we find in The Weird and the Eerie is a remarkably compressed analysis of the titular affects/genres that builds on what came before without sacrificing any nuances of what is before it. Truly fantastic. Fisher's last book may appear as a collection of essays, given chapter titles that speak to the work of a particular author or filmmaker (e.g.: Jonathan Glazer, H.P. Lovecraft, Nigel Kneale). But what we find in The Weird and the Eerie is a remarkably compressed analysis of the titular affects/genres that builds on what came before without sacrificing any nuances of what is before it. Truly fantastic.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Curran

    What do we mean when we say something is eerie, and what do we mean when we say it is weird? According to Mark Fisher, the eerie is defined by “a failure of absence or a failure of presence”. Ruins are eerie because of a failure of presence: they have been absented by those who built them. The weird is that which does not belong or should not exist, like the anomalous entities in the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. A quick glance at the some of the works in the bibliography gives an idea why I picked What do we mean when we say something is eerie, and what do we mean when we say it is weird? According to Mark Fisher, the eerie is defined by “a failure of absence or a failure of presence”. Ruins are eerie because of a failure of presence: they have been absented by those who built them. The weird is that which does not belong or should not exist, like the anomalous entities in the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. A quick glance at the some of the works in the bibliography gives an idea why I picked up this book of easays: “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” by M.R. James, “Surfacing” by Margaret Atwood, the short stories of H.G.Wells. Then there’s the music referenced, and the films: Brian Eno’s Ambient 4: On Land, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew; Tarkovsky’s Stalker and Solaris, Jonathan Glazier’s extraordinary adaptation of Under the Skin. All cultural touchstones of mine, all titles that have formed my tastes and undoubtedly impacted on the way I experience the world. Mark Fisher’s analyses are deep and precise, expressed with an enviable clarity. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Seán

    An interesting read with some analysis of 20th century literature and film with the aim of defining both 'weird' and 'eerie.' Fisher starts with Lovecraft and then jumps from the likes Tim Powers to David Lynch to The Fall, with plenty more in between. His analysis is always interesting and his arguments are accessible enough to not alienate the casual reader. I enjoy picking up a book like this every now and then to keep me thinking, and to provide a lot of ideas for future books/films to enjoy An interesting read with some analysis of 20th century literature and film with the aim of defining both 'weird' and 'eerie.' Fisher starts with Lovecraft and then jumps from the likes Tim Powers to David Lynch to The Fall, with plenty more in between. His analysis is always interesting and his arguments are accessible enough to not alienate the casual reader. I enjoy picking up a book like this every now and then to keep me thinking, and to provide a lot of ideas for future books/films to enjoy. This is well worth a look for anyone with even a passing interest in the weirder side of fiction.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lenka

    "The sensation of the eerie occurs either when there is something present where there should be nothing, or is there nothing present when there should be something." <3 "The sensation of the eerie occurs either when there is something present where there should be nothing, or is there nothing present when there should be something." <3

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gareth Beniston

    Rereading this today. It's SO good: original, cerebral, creative, inspiring. Rereading this today. It's SO good: original, cerebral, creative, inspiring.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    A slim volume that's well worth the read. First and foremost, I think Fisher does succeed in his explanatory efforts to separate his conceptions of the weird and the eerie in meaningful ways that fans of horror and adjacent entertainment will find useful, and I often found myself rethinking and recategorizing some of my favorite works in light of his explorations. At various points I found myself nodding enthusiastically, occasionally disagreeing (sometimes a little vehemently even), not quite f A slim volume that's well worth the read. First and foremost, I think Fisher does succeed in his explanatory efforts to separate his conceptions of the weird and the eerie in meaningful ways that fans of horror and adjacent entertainment will find useful, and I often found myself rethinking and recategorizing some of my favorite works in light of his explorations. At various points I found myself nodding enthusiastically, occasionally disagreeing (sometimes a little vehemently even), not quite feeling I followed a line of argument, and wishing there had been more space devoted to extending an example or idea. Usually when I find all those things in combination with one another in a book, I end up getting a lot out it long term and coming back for another read even if I didn't grasp or agree with a point being made. One of the book's strengths lies in the variety of cultural examples Fisher uses to bolster his arguments, though a few did feel less relevant to his points than others (for example, I don't think his discussion of "Interstellar" was as useful to his thesis as some other films he used, like "Under the Skin" and "Stalker"). There were also points at which I questioned the usefulness of Freud in some of the analysis, as much of his work is not particularly regarded as accurate today, and I'm sure there are more contemporary modes of psychoanalysis that might better serve his purpose (and he does lean on Lacan as well, which I think is an improvement). In summary, though, the book struck the right balance of academic and accessible for me to not want to put it down.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Philipp

    The genres of 'weird' and 'eerie' are often seen as sub-genres of horror, but to Fisher they are more their own thing, distinguished from the unheimlich. He distinguishes them based on 'what's there' - roughly said in weird fiction, something is there which shouldn't be ('the presence of that which does not belong'), just think of Lovecraft's non-euclidian geometries, the weird author. In the eerie, something is not present when there should be something ('the failure of presence') OR something The genres of 'weird' and 'eerie' are often seen as sub-genres of horror, but to Fisher they are more their own thing, distinguished from the unheimlich. He distinguishes them based on 'what's there' - roughly said in weird fiction, something is there which shouldn't be ('the presence of that which does not belong'), just think of Lovecraft's non-euclidian geometries, the weird author. In the eerie, something is not present when there should be something ('the failure of presence') OR something is present when there should be nothing ('the failure of absence'). It's certainly worth reading to see how Fisher distinguishes between these modes, feelings, realities - at the very least your to-read and your to-watch list will grow, especially if you're into weird fiction.

  10. 5 out of 5

    nero

    "It is as if the combination of adolescent erotic energy with an inorganic artifact (in this case a tea set decorated with owl motifs) produces a trigger for a repeating of the ancient legend." is not a sentence I expected to read today, or like... ever. This is basically an analysis of various books, movies, tv shows and even a music album with the purpose of trying to establish what's weird and what's eerie, and what these words actually describe. I've never been super into the genres that usua "It is as if the combination of adolescent erotic energy with an inorganic artifact (in this case a tea set decorated with owl motifs) produces a trigger for a repeating of the ancient legend." is not a sentence I expected to read today, or like... ever. This is basically an analysis of various books, movies, tv shows and even a music album with the purpose of trying to establish what's weird and what's eerie, and what these words actually describe. I've never been super into the genres that usually work with either of these feelings/concepts and as such hadn't read/watched a lot of the works mentioned in this book, but I enjoyed this book nonetheless and am definitely planning on checking out some of them. Bonus: Take a shot every time Fisher uses the word "ontological(ly)" in the first half of the book — but don't blame me if you end up in the ER.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Greg Brown

    Good stuff! The strongest part of Mark Fisher's earlier book CAPITALIST REALISM was his readings of pop culture, so an entire book of them was bound to be successful. And it largely is, even though I admittedly only have experienced half the works he's talking about here. Still, the slanting theme of the book makes for interesting takes on the eerie elements of writers like Christopher Priest, and weirdness of Tim Powers. If anything, it feels almost too constrained; I could see him sprawling acr Good stuff! The strongest part of Mark Fisher's earlier book CAPITALIST REALISM was his readings of pop culture, so an entire book of them was bound to be successful. And it largely is, even though I admittedly only have experienced half the works he's talking about here. Still, the slanting theme of the book makes for interesting takes on the eerie elements of writers like Christopher Priest, and weirdness of Tim Powers. If anything, it feels almost too constrained; I could see him sprawling across the rest of Priest's works (like THE PRESTIGE or THE INVERTED WORLD), or even drawing on other writers like Ligotti. But by limiting the grounds as he does, he keeps things to a tidy, forceful 128 pages. An enjoyable read, weighted down by the sadness of the author's recent passing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    felt unfinished, had some basic factual errors in (i.e. why invoke easter island like this?) and the theoretical underpinning felt extremely thin and kind of arbitrary. i don’t really understand what i was supposed to take from the entire premise of the book - of the idea of the weird and the eerie being these separate categories. it felt kind of basic and meaningless? it’s well-written, obviously, and some of his readings are interesting despite that. i was never bored. but it’s a really frustra felt unfinished, had some basic factual errors in (i.e. why invoke easter island like this?) and the theoretical underpinning felt extremely thin and kind of arbitrary. i don’t really understand what i was supposed to take from the entire premise of the book - of the idea of the weird and the eerie being these separate categories. it felt kind of basic and meaningless? it’s well-written, obviously, and some of his readings are interesting despite that. i was never bored. but it’s a really frustrating text.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Philippa Evans

    I think that this book has added immensely to how I'll read other books in the future - horror in particular. The discussion of how the presence and effects of the weird and the eerie are achieved (and how they differ from the uncanny) was incredibly interesting. A lot of the chapters focused on specific books and films, quite a few of which I hadn't read/watched. This would be my only niggle, I guess: that I would have preferred more theory and less review. I'm going to work through a number of I think that this book has added immensely to how I'll read other books in the future - horror in particular. The discussion of how the presence and effects of the weird and the eerie are achieved (and how they differ from the uncanny) was incredibly interesting. A lot of the chapters focused on specific books and films, quite a few of which I hadn't read/watched. This would be my only niggle, I guess: that I would have preferred more theory and less review. I'm going to work through a number of the texts referenced, though, and come back to those chapters. I honestly recommend this book. It isn't long, I've learned a lot from it, and the bibliography at the back shows me where I can go to learn more.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Helen McClory

    Sketchily interesting - though I wanted more than the examples given to hang the arguments on. Very male, though perhaps the weird and the eerie were until recently bastions of masculinity

  15. 5 out of 5

    Devarsi

    What Mark Fisher sets out to do here is describe what exactly makes weird fiction 'weird', and if 'weird' has a definite meaning, how is it different from 'eerie', and what kind of stories can be classified as 'eerie'. To this end, Fisher is very successful. What Mark Fisher sets out to do here is describe what exactly makes weird fiction 'weird', and if 'weird' has a definite meaning, how is it different from 'eerie', and what kind of stories can be classified as 'eerie'. To this end, Fisher is very successful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lily

    The emphasis of Fisher on both the "weird" and the "eerie" as not just affects (and "not quite genres"), but distinguishable modes is what endures long after finishing the book, and he establishes this quite early on. It is almost immediately followed by the disentanglement of both concepts from the feeling of fear and terror, which he illuminates further in his exploration of Lovecraft's writings. He then goes on to present various case studies in literature and cinema that illustrate the meani The emphasis of Fisher on both the "weird" and the "eerie" as not just affects (and "not quite genres"), but distinguishable modes is what endures long after finishing the book, and he establishes this quite early on. It is almost immediately followed by the disentanglement of both concepts from the feeling of fear and terror, which he illuminates further in his exploration of Lovecraft's writings. He then goes on to present various case studies in literature and cinema that illustrate the meaning and aspects of the titular terms, including works of David Lynch, Philip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood and H. G. Wells (as well as a wonderful exploration of The Fall's Grotesque album, which I love). As with his other works, the prose is sharp, concise and at times poetic. The usual wistfulness and political sobriety that roams in the foreground in most of his works also peek here, albeit subtly ("The perspective of the eerie can give us access to the forces which govern mundane reality but which are ordinarily obscured, just as it can give us access to spaces beyond mundane reality altogether"). It is always difficult to read Fisher and pin down the looming melancholy in my mind as an effect of his writings or the realization that he was gone too soon. Perhaps it's both.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Juanjo

    The book separates the strange into the weird (what cannot be) and the eerie (what shouldn't be there [or should] but is [or isn't]), arbitrarily it seems. Just in the same way the subjects of the essays seem to be picked of a diverse array with much rhyme or reason: grouping Lynch together with Lovecraft or The Fall as weird, and Tarkovsky, du Maurier and Eno as eerie. There's an argument for example that Tarkovsky's mentioned works, Stalker and Solaris include the weird, defined in the book as The book separates the strange into the weird (what cannot be) and the eerie (what shouldn't be there [or should] but is [or isn't]), arbitrarily it seems. Just in the same way the subjects of the essays seem to be picked of a diverse array with much rhyme or reason: grouping Lynch together with Lovecraft or The Fall as weird, and Tarkovsky, du Maurier and Eno as eerie. There's an argument for example that Tarkovsky's mentioned works, Stalker and Solaris include the weird, defined in the book as "so strange that it makes us feel that it should not exist, or at least it should not exist here". Therefore for me this book is less about the clear distinctions and groupings it tries to place to different works, and more like think-pieces about a vast array of media which can be thought of as weird or eerie. As for the essays, they're a mixed bag, sometimes relying on a previous knowledge and enthusiasm of the subject. Furthermore there's the question: how relevant is 'Lacanian jouissance' to Lovecraft's work? Philosophers after the 20th century have Freud and the others deeply ingrained in their reasoning and yet that does not mean the same for fiction. While Poe and Dunsany are rightfully acknowledged as influences, I still think the book faults very often of this: Bringing up Deleuze, Freud, Spinoza... when talking about artists that did not really think about them at all is a misstep in talking about their real influences and art. While the modern horror tradition still owes a lot to Poe, Lovecraft, Chambers or Blackwood; D&G have had hardly any impact of it. Were one willing to discuss the philosophy of a modern horror writer like Ligotti, we'd have to consider different philosophers that actually had an influence there, like Cioran or Schopenhauer. I'd say this book is worth picking up and reading whichever of the indexed topics you'd like to read about, not really as an examination of the weird and the eerie as if I were re-reading this I would definitely skip whichever subjects I didn't care about.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steve Wiggins

    The Weird and the Eerie had me from the title. Mark Fisher’s last book was recommended to me by a friend. Fisher committed suicide shortly after the book was finished, and reading his final work may be a window into some of the reasons why. Even if not consciously so. The essay is pretty much what the title indicates. The weird comprises the first half of the book with illustrations drawn from literature (based largely on Lovecraft), pop music, and films. Not content to suppose something is weir The Weird and the Eerie had me from the title. Mark Fisher’s last book was recommended to me by a friend. Fisher committed suicide shortly after the book was finished, and reading his final work may be a window into some of the reasons why. Even if not consciously so. The essay is pretty much what the title indicates. The weird comprises the first half of the book with illustrations drawn from literature (based largely on Lovecraft), pop music, and films. Not content to suppose something is weird, Fisher explores what that actually might mean. The second part of the book focuses on the eerie, which, as he points out, isn’t the same as weird. Again, going through multiple media, he considers what makes something unsettling. This is actually the larger part of this small book. I fear saying too much will deter readers since the book itself is so short. It is well written and avoids jargon, and for fans of weird or eerie fiction it is a delight to read. Since I’ve been trying to get a grip on why I like to read and watch such things (something I discuss elsewhere: Sects and Violence in the Ancient World), this was both helpful and inspiring to read. Trying to put a finger on why we think something is odd (unheimlich, as Freud would have it) is a good exercise. For me it comes down to the way it can make me feel, which is, strangely, happy. I’m still not sure why after reading Fisher, but I suspect I’ll come back to it again for a refresher. And perhaps someday I’ll figure out its draw.

  19. 4 out of 5

    GrimMandarin

    Seems my tastes have tended to run towards the weird and the eerie for the best part of 30 years. I wasn't sure I would enjoy a book that is essentially one long essay dissecting the strangeness of some of the works and artists I enjoy the most. I needn't have worried. While the constant Freud references flew over my head, it was an engaging read by an author I am sorry I didn't switch on to earlier - much as I previously enjoyed his occasional pieces for The Wire. Definitely one for fans of the w Seems my tastes have tended to run towards the weird and the eerie for the best part of 30 years. I wasn't sure I would enjoy a book that is essentially one long essay dissecting the strangeness of some of the works and artists I enjoy the most. I needn't have worried. While the constant Freud references flew over my head, it was an engaging read by an author I am sorry I didn't switch on to earlier - much as I previously enjoyed his occasional pieces for The Wire. Definitely one for fans of the weird and eerie fringes of popular culture, though - you really need the right context. If you don't like Kubrick, Lovecraft, The Fall, or Margaret Atwood, you probably won't enjoy this. Now to read "Ghosts of my Life", an earlier work that is somewhat of a companion piece.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Harry Goodwin

    Loved every word of this. The parts of fiction and art (and indeed life) that are difficult to define, to describe, to pin down, that leave us feeling strange and disoriented are the places that Fisher has made his permanent domain. It is simply wonderful to have him as our guide, much like the Stalker in the zone. Quite simply, if he writes about something you have seen/read, you will immediately want to revisit it and see it more deeply. If you haven't yet experienced it, you will want to as so Loved every word of this. The parts of fiction and art (and indeed life) that are difficult to define, to describe, to pin down, that leave us feeling strange and disoriented are the places that Fisher has made his permanent domain. It is simply wonderful to have him as our guide, much like the Stalker in the zone. Quite simply, if he writes about something you have seen/read, you will immediately want to revisit it and see it more deeply. If you haven't yet experienced it, you will want to as soon as possible. Although his prose is not flowery or emotional, it feels rooted in the deeply personal and his passion shines through and is so illuminating and infectious. I would recommend this to any who likes spooky shit, it is simply beautiful and you can crack it out in a few hours. It gave me inklings about what it is about myself that is drawn to the other. Love this man, what a loss.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ian Taylor

    The concepts are original in a way that also feels like they have always been true, which is a good thing I think. And working strictly within litcrit lets Fisher get away with the crazy claims he makes sometimes (Dyslexic people being well adapted to neoliberal capitalism or whatever if I remember lol) to the point I actually agree. Unfortunately most of the book is analyses of other texts through the lenses he sets up, so you'll get more or less out of it depending on your familiarity with them The concepts are original in a way that also feels like they have always been true, which is a good thing I think. And working strictly within litcrit lets Fisher get away with the crazy claims he makes sometimes (Dyslexic people being well adapted to neoliberal capitalism or whatever if I remember lol) to the point I actually agree. Unfortunately most of the book is analyses of other texts through the lenses he sets up, so you'll get more or less out of it depending on your familiarity with them. An exception to this for me, though, was the Margaret Atwood essay, whose subject book Id never read but which did such a job of being evocative with its quotations that I got something kind of independently near from it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Terence

    How does one separate what is "weird" in literature and film and what is "eerie"? Fisher is adept at finding the details, juxtaposing multiple directors, writers, novels and films to show their differences and difficulties in definition. Could have used one real conclusion at the end, and more than a few chapters summarized where some insight could have flourished. But overall it was nice to consider these works in this light and add a few books to my reading list. How does one separate what is "weird" in literature and film and what is "eerie"? Fisher is adept at finding the details, juxtaposing multiple directors, writers, novels and films to show their differences and difficulties in definition. Could have used one real conclusion at the end, and more than a few chapters summarized where some insight could have flourished. But overall it was nice to consider these works in this light and add a few books to my reading list.

  23. 5 out of 5

    David Balfour

    This book is an absolute joy for someone who finds deep emotional significance in the weird and the eerie. Fisher seems to be a kindred spirit, lovingly highlighting the tone of his subject and enhancing rather than diminishing its mystery. He summarises each story where appropriate, so you should be able to take something from the book even if you haven't read or seen the original works. Fisher describes the weird as a feeling that arises when something absolutely other pokes its head into a fa This book is an absolute joy for someone who finds deep emotional significance in the weird and the eerie. Fisher seems to be a kindred spirit, lovingly highlighting the tone of his subject and enhancing rather than diminishing its mystery. He summarises each story where appropriate, so you should be able to take something from the book even if you haven't read or seen the original works. Fisher describes the weird as a feeling that arises when something absolutely other pokes its head into a familiar or mundane setting. His concept of the eerie is a bit more complex, emerging in situations that deal with unsolved questions about agency. Synchronicity can be eerie, for example, because it drives us to wonder whether there's some hidden agent at work - fate, perhaps.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Donald

    This slim collection of essays tries to address the oddities that don't quite fit in horror, or science fiction, assigning them as Weird, or Eerie, ranging from Lovecraft, to Interstellar. It's a timely publication, with Twin Peaks returned to our tvs. The book itself has the makings of an 'eerie' artefact, with the writer committing suicide just before publication, which led to a slightly odd feeling as one read it . . . This slim collection of essays tries to address the oddities that don't quite fit in horror, or science fiction, assigning them as Weird, or Eerie, ranging from Lovecraft, to Interstellar. It's a timely publication, with Twin Peaks returned to our tvs. The book itself has the makings of an 'eerie' artefact, with the writer committing suicide just before publication, which led to a slightly odd feeling as one read it . . .

  25. 5 out of 5

    George Orton

    I can't remember the last time I thought about a book of criticism as much as this. So many insightful ideas about literature, film, music and TV that I'll keep coming back to. Fave chapters were the ones about: - HP Lovecraft - The Fall - David Lynch - Daphne du Maurier and Christopher Priest - M.R. James and Brian Eno - Margaret Atwood I can't remember the last time I thought about a book of criticism as much as this. So many insightful ideas about literature, film, music and TV that I'll keep coming back to. Fave chapters were the ones about: - HP Lovecraft - The Fall - David Lynch - Daphne du Maurier and Christopher Priest - M.R. James and Brian Eno - Margaret Atwood

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    "We could go so far as to say that it is the human condition to be grotesque, since the human animal is the one that does not fit in, the freak of nature who has no place in the natural order and is capable of re-combining nature's products into hideous new forms." "We could go so far as to say that it is the human condition to be grotesque, since the human animal is the one that does not fit in, the freak of nature who has no place in the natural order and is capable of re-combining nature's products into hideous new forms."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    A beautifully written account of those things that creep around the edges of our awareness and make for fascinating fiction. Fisher's last book is a wonderfully insightful read, spanning the worlds of film, TV, books and music. A beautifully written account of those things that creep around the edges of our awareness and make for fascinating fiction. Fisher's last book is a wonderfully insightful read, spanning the worlds of film, TV, books and music.

  28. 5 out of 5

    michal k-c

    strange this is considered more of a book instead of a collection of essays.. was kind of struck by how it just sort of ends after the Picnic at Hanging Rock essay (which, next to the writing on Lovecraft, is best). Even when he drags, Fisher is never bad!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jed Mayer

    A wise and insightful tome that ranges over an eclectic range of subjects in the pleasantly meandering course of its scant pages: a great work on a challenging topic.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Pyles

    A great examination of the weird and eerie by Fisher. The extra lens via capitalism is also appreciated here.

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