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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


Franz Kafka, The Castle
I tried to read Kafka so many times when I was young and never got into it. I was always looking to make some kind of allegorical connection to it, a justification for it. But when I read it again during sobriety what I encountered was not those complex, dark bureaucratic configurations, I just found a beautiful sense of humour. Do you find Kafka funny?

For sure, pitch black humour.

Yeah a ridiculous absurdity and detail in the language. And ultimately he writes about nothing. In  The Castle he spends the whole text looking for this bloke and the guy never even appears. And again with Kafka, it’s like every page is the same. And he never even finished The Castle so it just stops. I find that helpful in music. When something is being explored and navigated you just press end and be done with it. One thing I learned from Deleuze was to not look for any psychoanalytic reading in Kafka and just celebrate it for the language. He’s so unique stylistically but so strange and divorced from anything else. And Deleuze used to talk about this concept of a “foreigner in one's own language.” Kafka uses the same words as anyone, but they come out totally different.

That’s one thing I thought about in preparation for this interview, the unfinished Kafka work was the work essentially, suggesting that a text can exist beyond its own confines in time and space, it leaves this room open for a story to never end, and a ƒolder  is a project without clear end. It’s hard not to see a one to one analysis. 

I think that’s a really good analysis. I’ve been totally inspired by Kafka, and there is an absurdity to a ƒolder in using these endless catalog numbers that go on and on.