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Tome On The Range

Powell's Books: A Baker's Dozen Special Edition
Adam Lehrer , August 22nd, 2020 08:03

Electronic music producer Powell picks favourite books by Baudrillard, Derrida, Kafka, and Susan Sontag

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Jean Baudrillard, The Perfect Crime
I haven’t read a lot of Baudrillard so I’m no expert, but what struck me about The Perfect Crime was the sheer violence and urgency of his thought. I don’t think I had ever read something where it was like the words were being screamed at you from the page. He’s writing every page like it’s the most urgent, important thing on Earth. Stylistically, it spoke to me. And the idea of reality being an illusion, or reality being dead, has only grown more relevant. Anything to do with what is real and the collapse of everything we thought we knew, the role of media, and TV and advertising, it feels now. Even with the pandemic, is it really happening? Are we suckers?

Think of how schizophrenic the narrative shifts have been. How could any human brain keep up with this? To even attempt to keep up with media is to plunge yourself into madness. That’s pure Baudrillard.

I totally agree. My reaction during this lockdown is to not look at the news because I cannot handle it. I like to focus on things that I know are real. With illusion it made me think about music and the illusion of being a musician and the things that qualify you to make money from music. And then suddenly those things aren’t there, and you are left with the reality of having quit your day job, and none of those structures are actually real.