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Working to Design: The Self-Perpetuating Ideology of Rock or ... ‘The New Bob Dylan’

Author(s): John Scannell

Journal: PORTAL : Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies
ISSN 1449-2490

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Affect | Popular Music | Journalism | Writing | Deleuze and Guattari

This premise of this article is that music and the writing process have no inherent kinship, and that the often ill-conceived merger of these activities as the “music writing” process, is generally destined for failure. That is because writing about music subsumes its affective power into a foreign modality; it is captured and rendered into the printed word, made to signify, made to represent something, where that something is generally resolved within the presuppositions of the writers’ often-limited referential framework. At the heart of the matter is that writing about music often does not attempt to capture the affective processes that inspired creation in the first place, and in this respect, the paper argues that it may be more appropriate for the music writer/journalist to respond in kind, or as Deleuze and Guattari might say, that the music writing process should pursue a ‘becoming-music’ itself. For rather than subjecting music to the realm of representation, or subsuming its creative power within the realm of opinion and cliché, the writer should instead be concerned with harnessing and re-channelling those forces of sensation or affect that gave rise to it in the first place, and which might, in turn, inspire a literary creativity that is commensurate to the power of the music at hand.
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