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93

Atwood's Anti-Capitalism

2
terms
1
notes

Fisher, M. (2018). Atwood's Anti-Capitalism. In Fisher, M. K-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher. Repeater, pp. 93-98

(adjective) gray or white with or as if with age / (adjective) extremely old; ancient

93

a retort to the hoary old reactionary homily that utopia is alien to human nature

—p.93 by Mark Fisher
notable
3 years, 1 month ago

a retort to the hoary old reactionary homily that utopia is alien to human nature

—p.93 by Mark Fisher
notable
3 years, 1 month ago

the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind

95

Ivan Karamazov's howl of anguish can be directed at the atheist architects of the radiant city as much as at God, since what can any revolutionary eschatology, no matter how glorious, do about the agonies of those who are long dead?

—p.95 by Mark Fisher
notable
3 years, 1 month ago

Ivan Karamazov's howl of anguish can be directed at the atheist architects of the radiant city as much as at God, since what can any revolutionary eschatology, no matter how glorious, do about the agonies of those who are long dead?

—p.95 by Mark Fisher
notable
3 years, 1 month ago
97

The question that kept recurring when I was reading both Oryx And Crake and The Year Of The Flood was: why do these books not succeed in the way that The Handmaid's Tale did? If The Handmaid's Tale was an exemplary dystopia, it was because the novel made contact with the Imaginary-Real of neoconservatism. Gilead was 'Real' at the level of a neconservative desire that was operating in the Reaganite 80s; a virtual present that conditioned the actual present. Offred, the handmaids, the Marthas, the Wall - these names have the resonant consistency of a world. But Atwood does not have so assured a handle on neoliberalism as she did on neoconservatism. Atwood gives every appearance of underestimating the cheap poetry of brands, banal as it is; her corporate names are ugly and clunky, no doubt deliberately so - perhaps this is the way that she hears the absurd infantilisms of late capitalist semiotics. AnooYoo, HelthWyzer, Happicuppa, ReJoovenEssens, and - most ungainly of all - Sea(H)ear Candies: these practically caused me physical pain to read, and it is hard to conceive of any world in which these would be leading brands. Atwood's mistake is always the same - the names are unsightly plays on the function or service that the corporations offer, whereas capitalism's top brand names - Coca Cola, Google, Starbucks - have attained an asignifying abstraction, in which any reference to what the corporation does is merely vestigial. Capitalist semiotics echo capital's own tendency towards ever-increasing abstraction. (For the Imaginary-Real of neoliberalism, you'd be far better off reading Nick Land's 90s texts, shortly to be re-published.) Atwood's names for genetically-spliced animals - the pigoon, the spoat/gider, the liobam - are also examples of linguistic butchery; perhaps she was trying to provide a parallel in language for the denaturalising violence of genetic engineering. In any case, these linguistic monsters are unlikely to roam far beyond Atwood's texts (they certainly don't have anything like the dark sleekness and hyperstitional puissance of, say, Gibson's neologisms).

—p.97 by Mark Fisher 3 years, 1 month ago

The question that kept recurring when I was reading both Oryx And Crake and The Year Of The Flood was: why do these books not succeed in the way that The Handmaid's Tale did? If The Handmaid's Tale was an exemplary dystopia, it was because the novel made contact with the Imaginary-Real of neoconservatism. Gilead was 'Real' at the level of a neconservative desire that was operating in the Reaganite 80s; a virtual present that conditioned the actual present. Offred, the handmaids, the Marthas, the Wall - these names have the resonant consistency of a world. But Atwood does not have so assured a handle on neoliberalism as she did on neoconservatism. Atwood gives every appearance of underestimating the cheap poetry of brands, banal as it is; her corporate names are ugly and clunky, no doubt deliberately so - perhaps this is the way that she hears the absurd infantilisms of late capitalist semiotics. AnooYoo, HelthWyzer, Happicuppa, ReJoovenEssens, and - most ungainly of all - Sea(H)ear Candies: these practically caused me physical pain to read, and it is hard to conceive of any world in which these would be leading brands. Atwood's mistake is always the same - the names are unsightly plays on the function or service that the corporations offer, whereas capitalism's top brand names - Coca Cola, Google, Starbucks - have attained an asignifying abstraction, in which any reference to what the corporation does is merely vestigial. Capitalist semiotics echo capital's own tendency towards ever-increasing abstraction. (For the Imaginary-Real of neoliberalism, you'd be far better off reading Nick Land's 90s texts, shortly to be re-published.) Atwood's names for genetically-spliced animals - the pigoon, the spoat/gider, the liobam - are also examples of linguistic butchery; perhaps she was trying to provide a parallel in language for the denaturalising violence of genetic engineering. In any case, these linguistic monsters are unlikely to roam far beyond Atwood's texts (they certainly don't have anything like the dark sleekness and hyperstitional puissance of, say, Gibson's neologisms).

—p.97 by Mark Fisher 3 years, 1 month ago