Now do not understand the following as me being an expert on Heidegger (although I have read most of his important works) and Hegel, but I have to say that I have never fully understood the assertion that they are difficult writers. If there are two philosophers that I do fully understand then it will be those two. I think it is because their definitions are so crystal-clear. So clear as a matter a fact that I have always considered them to be poets rather than philosophers. This might seem a light even sacriligious take on their meaning and significance, but I could not possibly phrase it otherwise. Compared to them most other philosophers are muddleheaded.
This may seem a strange approach to philosophy, given the fact that philosophy is explicitly trying to explain the world, but I have found that I truly begin to understand the philosophers I like/agree with/find useful, only when I do consider their writings as poetry (the same thing has happened recently when I started to read Derrida, instead of reading about him). Poetry for me implicitly means 'lightness', the ability to approach language at face value, as raw material, not as meaning. If you go from there, instead of, as most people do, immediately attributing immense significance to words, possible theories remain much clearer if things get complicated later on.
If, like Lacan [I know that Dejan will dislike my interpretation of Lacan as a philosopher, but I am doing it anyway because Lacan himself started that interpretation by talking nonsense about Hegel and Kant. [btw: even if it were only his followers who have mistakenly interpreted his teachings, then it is still his fault because he developed his thoughts in troubled water]], your definitions are mystified and deliberately obscure, the philosophical edifice you want to erect with those definitions (the 'erect' has, deviously, not been chosen completely undeliberately), will crumble at the ultimate and most important moment, that is, when you really have to say something, i.e. explain. Omar states in the comments of this post that he considers Freud's Interpretations of Dreams as an "avant-garde biography" rather than as the promise of its title and I think that is a saner approach.
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Ultimately most problems in life that are related to words (i.e. people not understanding each other) become problematic because people employ different definitions, which means, from either view, that the other (not the Other) is employing the wrong definition.
I have this problem with talking about music too. For me all music is at the out-start raw sound material. The whitest noise (take Aaron Dilloway) and the most verbose lyricism (take Leonard Cohen) I try to approach with the same innocence. Therefor for me there is not such a thing as difficult music. Music can be only difficult if you approach it from one way/viewpoint only, that is, define it too succinctly. If you define music as 'music with lyrics', only then can white noise become difficult music. For years I misinterpreted some kinds of music because I defined them in relation to other music and thoughts external to music. This is no longer the case.
Two examples to somewhat explain my position:
At the moment there is a lot to do in certain quadrants of the blogosphere about Xasthur. People analyse his music and find themes like genocide, racism, Nietzschean philosophy and go from there to racist interpretations of Lovecraft and Houellebecq. There is even a nutcase who has found a link between Varg Vikernes and Houellebecq. I dare declare that these investigations, how erudite and reeking of 'look at all the things I know' as they may be, totally miss the point. Why? Because they make problematic something that is, in its immediate attributes, only an aesthetic question. Do I care why Varg Vikernes or Xasthur make their music? Not in the least. If you approach music that way you are already making a moral statement. To explicate further: I am not a racist. Varg Vikernes is. Does this mean that I do not like Vikernes' music? No, it does not. I think Burzum is just good music. For me it does not conjure up future times when all Jews, black people or whoever will be extinct. What all these investigators do not realize is that at one time or other they inexorably must end up in contradictions. How can you ever justify your liking of Xasthur or Burzum again later on, when you have made problematic the philosophic themes behind it? To bluntly relate ideologic to aesthetic concepts is a bit like shitting on a white carpet: sure, that carpet was not going to stay white forever, but there are other and certainly more gradual ways of soiling it.
Dejan does not in the least like Burial and Kode9, he even feels compelled to write a whole post on it. I am wondering whether this is not, again, a dire(ct) consequence of his so-called 'hauntological' interpretation of these musics. He has read so much about those artists before listening to them that it can only lead to disappointment. To me these two records are masterpieces because they remind me of sounds that I have appreciated in the past (e.g. dub, Massive Attack, Tricky, early drum'n'bass, isolationism, Detroit electro) and do something fresh with it. I could not possibly care less if their intended or suspected themes are hauntological [I will for the time being leave unanswered the question if there in fact is something like hauntological music, because I am not convinced that there is a relation between the crackles of Robert Johnson, the pops of Chain Reaction or the intended bad sound quality of black metal] or not. They may, as I have written in the past, remind me of certain Ballardian landscapes, but I will never go as far as to call Kode9 or Burial Ballardian artists. Nor will I call Will Self a Ballardian writer because he writes about a submerged island.
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Maybe it does sound impossible/improbable but every day again I try to be a blank sheet, a tabula rasa. To quote The Spaceape, I try to let music "stimulate the audio nerve directly".
This is not to say that this approach will always work out as I intend it, but I have to try or most of the true meaning will escape me.
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I have to agree with Blanchot, who strongly opposes Sartre's dichotomy between prose and poetry, with prose then being the so-called 'committed' pole of writing. Words commit out of themselves, as things or images, but never as signifiers: they do not need to be committed or need meaning instilled in them. They may, but it is by no means necessary. And it is just the same with music and sound. Ultimately the more you say/write about music, the more you distance yourself from the act of listening itself, thereby putting an invisible barrier of thought between yourself and the music.
As much as I have an immense respect for him and his mates writing those cunning rhizomatic tales of endlessly interwoven meaning, I am wondering whether K-punk is in any way still capable of truly enjoying music. Does he have the time for it, before he goes on another logorrhoetic spree? I am always baffled by that powerful language at first, but - and this can take a mighty long time - eventually I always start doubting those meticulously constructed theories, because I suspect the words were there almost at the same time as the aesthetic experience itself. It is probably the reason why the Cultural Parody Center is my all too necessary antidote to K-punk's idea-logical hypercornucopia.
How many times have I not thrown incredibly dirty invectives at my computer screen when reading Droommachine Sporenburg, wondering how such a beautiful mind could state such inanities? What a difference it makes now when I am reading the charming and inspiring OMC-par-OMC, a blog where ideas and memories finally seem to have been allowed some breathing/breeding space. On Droommachine Sporenburg thoughts were suffocated. Now, on OMC-par-OMC, they flourish, and, more importantly, have acquired true meaning.