Renowned writer and K-Punk blogger Mark Fisher from Felixstowe took own life after battle with depression
PUBLISHED: 16:42 18 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:10 18 July 2017
An influential writer, music blogger and university lecturer from Felixstowe described as ‘fiercely intelligent and insightful’ took his own life having battled depression, an inquest has heard.
Mark Fisher, 48, of Kings Street, was found unresponsive at his home on January 13.
Today an inquest heard Mr Fisher and his wife Zoe had sought psychiatric treatment in the weeks leading up to his death, but their GP had only been able to offer over-the-phone meetings to discuss a referral.
Coroner Nigel Parsley said the cause of death was hanging.
The inquest heard Mr Fisher’s mental health had deteriorated since May 2016, leading to a suspected overdose in December where he was admitted to Ipswich Hospital.
After the hearing, Mrs Fisher criticised the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) referral system, saying that on the telephone Mr Fisher was able to convince his GP he did not need treatment.
“We fell foul of a lot of reforms that have taken place, shifting services to different areas,” she said.
“The hospital services are always attentive and on the ball, but once you leave hospital the GP becomes your access to any help.
“It was problematic and very frustrating at times. It is because of the way things are set up.”
During the inquest, coroner Nigel Parsley said although he was not making a formal report about the difficulty the family had in accessing care, he did say he was going to make contact with the Trust about the issue.
Mr Fisher was a renowned writer and lecturer at Goldsmith College in London.
He had made a name for himself blogging under the name of K-Punk during the early 2000s, described as “a one-man magazine superior to most magazines in Britain” by music critic Simon Reynolds.
His book Capitalist Realism, released in 2009, has sold more than 30,000 copies.
Mrs Fisher said her husband’s death had been “devastating beyond words”.
“He was fiercely intelligent,” she said. “Anyone who ever met Mark was in awe of how interesting and insightful he was.
“He would see the world through a different lens that was so observational and funny.
“He loved making people laugh.
“His writing and his lecturing were such an integral part of who he was. “He absolutely adored Suffolk. “He didn’t grow up in Suffolk, he grew up in Leicestershire, but Mark’s favourite place was here. Mark’s dream was to live in Felixstowe.
“A huge part of being away from London was about being able to work from home and be supported by the landscape and go on walks.
“It was important for him to raise George out of the city in Suffolk.
“He would always write for pleasure about politics, music, social issues and then in 2009 published Capitalist Realism that has sold nearly 30,000 copies.
“It sold really well and that took Mark by surprise.
“He wrote three more books in the years that followed, this was all alongside lecturing at Goldsmith’s College.
“A lot of his courses would have been about cultural theory, music and film theory.
“His writing and teaching he got a lot of pleasure from.
“He was very creative, very being able to write and lecture and design courses to is something he got a great deal of pleasure from.”
Derek Walmsley, editor of The Wire magazine, which published many of his articles, said: “One of Mark’s first loves was music journalism, and it was the pages of NME and other publications that fired a lifelong interest in philosophy, politics and critical theory.
“In the late 1990s he was a driving force of the Ccru, a para-academic wing of the Philosophy Department at Warwick University, and many of the ideas he explored here – of the relationship between music and politics, and theory and culture – filtered into his highly influential blog K-Punk throughout the 2000s.
“Mark became part of a highly active group of bloggers discussing music, culture and philosophy in the 2000s that spawned numerous writers still active today, such as Nina Power and Owen Hatherley. He joined The Wire as a contributor and later staff member in the late 2000s.
“His writing on music, film and politics won an international following throughout the following decade, with many readers drawn to his forceful and timely criticism of contemporary capitalism, and his frank and necessary discussion of the impact of mental health on modern life (and vice versa).
“His time at The Wire was a happy one, and Mark was great fun to be around, even while his work offered challenging and sometimes bleak analyses of life in the 21st century Britain.
“He was a forceful and thrilling writer and polemicist on music, and a hilarious commentator and companion when it came to TV, film and politics.
“He had a precious gift for turning received wisdom on its head and revealing and revelling in the absurdity of modern life – when we chatted in the office, he would push his chair back from his desk, laugh and gesticulate wildly as he poked fun at politicians, celebrities and whatever part of contemporary culture was on his mind that day.
“He is much missed.”
The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust was unavailable for comment.