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The Weird and the Eerie

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,557 ratings  ·  137 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 134 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by Repeater Books (first published 2016)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  1,557 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Stephen Curran
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
"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 ...more
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
The weird, the uncanny, the eerie. Something monstrous something unreal mixed in with the real. Unlike fantasy, this combination of the real and unreal is a space that makes things weird or eerie. Something there that shouldn't be there or something not there that should be there. Mostly about literature like HP Lovecraft whom I should get around to reading sometime.
Gareth Beniston
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rereading this today. It's SO good: original, cerebral, creative, inspiring.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
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 ...more
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays, non-fiction
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
Greg Brown
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: go-read-this
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 ...more
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
David Balfour
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked 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 . . .
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"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."
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
michal k-c
Oct 05, 2020 rated it liked it
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!
Jed Mayer
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: eldritch, aliens, essays
Liked the stuff about aliens, really explained why I was so afraid of Them as a child. Otherwise, too much Freud and not enough Marx.

(view spoiler)
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mark Fisher, known for writing about post-punk and popular culture under the K-Punk moniker, tries to distinguish between the outright weird and the not-so-easily defined eerie. Weirdness is described as the feeling of being 𝘸𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨, or more specifically as not fitting in with our general perception or experience of a thing. The eerie, is more subtle - characterized by a feeling of not knowing and there is something there, and by a sense of resolution after the unknown is revealed. Fisher proceeds ...more
Ben Robinson
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mark Fisher’s presence as a cultural critic is sorely missed and since his passing, his absence feels most weird and eerie in itself. His blog remains the essential map for navigating late capitalist badlands, while The Weird And The Eerie is a slim volume that nonetheless contains some essential writing. The book charts terrain taking in The Fall, Under The Skin and longtime kpunk obsession The Shining to define these curious outposts as “something where there should ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've read weird fiction for as long as I can remember but I've never really stopped to think why it appeals to me and what it really is.

Mark Fisher's book is a short text book in which he attempts to differentiate between 'the weird' and 'the eerie'. I'm not sure I totally agree with his boundaries but I see what he's getting at.

The choice of authors/topics - the two are interchangeable here - was unexpected but did the job nicely.

The only letdown was that the book wasn't longer. I'd have apprec
Nom Chompsky
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theory, non-fiction
Fisher is so readable, uses great examples, and has a great flow. I find this example much more readable than “ghosts of my life” just for its focus on film and literature over music, though his framework for hauntology in that volume is very usable and approachable and I treasure it too. This is great reading for folks who don’t want to approach the right-leaning labyrinth of Nick Land’s writing, but still want to think about weird stuff with an academic bend to it. Really grateful for this boo ...more
Alice Nilsson
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked it. Didn't see much of a point other than being a piece of Literary/cultural criticism showing how certain writers, directors etc. portray the Weird and Eerie in different ways. It's not like it's philosophising of theorising the Weird or Eerie in much of a way, if he was doing that it would have been redundant for him to simplify the distinction in the first preface chapter (Weird being the addition of something, Eerie being the lack/removal)
Steve Gillway
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If the job of an essay is to get the grey matter moving, then Fisher has succeeded in this focused collections of essays. By treating popular culture in a scholarly way the concepts of the weird and the eerie are examined in a challenging and inviting way.
Steen Ledet
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucid work on two atmospheres on contemporary culture. Insightful and significant.
David Rice
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The kind of book that puts me in exactly the headspace I want to be in. A slim but crucial addition to Fisher's sadly truncated bibliography. Indispensable.
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Mark Fisher (1968 – 2017) was a co-founder of Zero Books and 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 a Visiting Fellow in the Visual Cultures department at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database wit

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28 likes · 15 comments
“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.” 12 likes
“In this lukewarm world, ambient discontent hides in plain view, a hazy malaise given off by the refrigerators, television sets and other consumer durables. The vividness and plausibility of this miserable world — with misery itself contributing to the world’s plausibility — somehow becomes all the more intense when its status is downgraded to that of a constructed simulation. The world is a simulation but it still feels real.” 1 likes
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