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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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Claire Parnet and Gilles Deleuze, On The Superiority of Anglo-American Literature
Because I’ve read so much Deleuze over the last couple of years it was the one I decided to talk about, it’s the essay that had the deepest impact on me. It’s written by Parnet and Deleuze in two sections and you aren’t sure which one wrote which part, which was inspiring to me with  a ƒolderand its nonsensical “doesn't matter who did what” approach to art. But also a lot of that literature, like Kafka and Thomas Mann, that Deleuze talks about was a huge jumping off point for me.

This book is more a way to talk about Deleuze generally, because I could include any chapter from any of the books. Guattari was the one who introduced a lot of the political thinking into their joint work, but in Deleuze I found affirmative positivity, he’s not nihilistically tearing things down, he’s posing a beautiful way to see things. It’s luminous and colourful, and there are so many connections to nature and art. So many philosophers are difficult stylistically, but with Deleuze it’s easy to think about Deleuzianisms: machines, flows, and movements. And Deleuze wrote a lot about music, and as a music maker, you feel like you’re channeling flows of materials and sound, he’s a philosopher who I connected with musically. I guess as an artist it’s easy to get into Deleuze because he wrote so much about art. Kafka. Francis Bacon. Stylistically, his work is beautiful. I started reading him during a six month period of sobriety. It brought everything to life for me. When he writes with Guattari you can sometimes get a sense of whose writing what. When I can’t understand it, it’s usually Guattari.

I just wrote about Deleuze's Francis Bacon book Logic of Sensation for a tQ listicle on our favourite art books. 

That's an amazing book. Just absolutely beautiful. Because Deleuze always talks about flows and energies and overlappings and celebrating those kinds of things. And I was pursuing that in music and to find that in words, it makes you feel like you've got a friend in a way.