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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


Jacques Derrida, Positions
Reading Derrida is like when I listen to my favourite music and it feels like my brain is being ripped in several different directions. I read two other books of his Interpretations and Artaud at the MoMA. I found Derrida's emphasis on language, writing and speech stuck with me. His concept of “différance,” which if I was to explain it I would say it’s something like a term that exists in the middle of two terms so it can’t be categorised as its binary opposites. To use language in ways that fall through the systems of structures and systems. It’s like making music that doesn’t fit into one genre or another, but sits in a third space. 

I wrote down this thing that I liked: “The hierarchy of dual positions always reasserts itself.” These ideas are very interesting to someone going through life changes. There’s one part where he’s asked about his work in its entirety, and he talks about how you can staple Writing and Difference in the middle of one of his books, and that would be a good way of looking at his oeuvre as a whole. I love that idea of putting an idea in the middle to create a whole. In musical terms, I think about it like making records where all these different releases could exist together, or inside one another, and it makes no difference. The other thing I love about Derrida is that he loves snooker, which is my favourite sport and is only played in the UK and China, and Derrida was obsessed with it.