The Beatles’ Anthology as Cultural Symptom

Mark Fisher, channeling Frederic Jameson: ‘On the one hand, this is a culture that privileges only the present and the immediate…on the other hand, it is a culture that is excessively nostalgic, given over to retrospection, incapable of generating any authentic novelty’. With reference to my previous post on the haunted aspects of the ‘new’ (newest?) Anthology songs, I would say the Anthology project on the whole ā€” with its desperate gilding of fragments and moments thought lost to time to appear new and pertinent within the Beatles’ overbearing canon, in addition to the actual hard process of making new additions to that canon ā€” rhymes quite uncannily with Jameson and Fisher’s image of a culture caught in arrested development. We are on the terminal beach, and the ghosts refuse to leave us alone.

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