The Concept Of Tragedy

“The poet…is the man of metaphor: while the philosopher is interested only in the truth of meaning, beyond even signs and names, and the sophist manipulates empty signs…the poet plays on the multiplicity of signifieds.”

Jacques Derrida

A friend of mine once told me that the first lines of my song ‘The Concept Of Tragedy’ sounded like a quote from Jacques Derrida.

The lines in question are:

The philosopher

And the oldest trick in the book: 

If thinking leads to language,

And language leads to thinking,

We can deduce that knowledge

Stems from both in equal measure.

 Just put your trust in logic,

And we will find the root

Of your disorder.

One of the questions I’m usually asked is: ‘What’s the message you’re trying to convey with this work?’. I know this is a question people like, and I think they like it because we naturally try to understand (that is, understand logically) everything our senses perceive. At the same time, unfortunately, it’s not a question that can be really answered. Not properly, at least.

The quote above is perfect to explain what I mean:

‘The poet...’

(Middle English: from Old French poete, via Latin from Greek poētēs, variant of poiētēs ‘maker, poet’, from poiein ‘create’)

‘plays...’

(Engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose)

‘on the multiplicity of signifieds.’

(The meaning or idea expressed by a sign, as distinct from the physical form in which it is expressed)

Why am I writing this? Well, because one of the many themes (and I don’t mean messages) that lie behind ‘The Concept Of Tragedy’ is (lack of) comprehension/understanding.

You can decide now if I’m playing the poet, the philosopher...

Or the sophist...

You’ve reached the end of the post, my friend... Thank you so much!

Jacques Derrida

Jacques Derrida

© Black Art 2019