Skip to main content

Writings through John Cage’s Music, Poetry, and Art

This volume looks at the creative work of the great avant-gardist John Cage from an exciting interdisciplinary perspective, exploring his activities as a composer, performer, thinker, and artist.

The essays in this collection grew out of a pivotal gathering during which a spectrum of participants including composers, music scholars, and visual artists, literary critics, poets, and filmmakers convened to examine Cage’s extraordinary artistic legacy. Beginning with David Bernstein’s introductory essay on the reception of Cage’s music, the volume addresses topics ranging from Cage’s reluctance to discuss his homosexuality, to his work as a performer and musician, and his forward-looking, provocative experimentation with electronic and other media. Several of the essays draw upon previously unseen sketches and other source materials. Also included are transcripts of lively panel discussions among some of Cage’s former colleagues. Taken together, this collection is a much-needed contribution to the study of one of the most significant American artists of the twentieth century.

304 pages | 4 color plates, 7 halftones, 11 drawings, 1 table, 22 musical reproductions | 6 x 9 | © 2001

Art: American Art

Music: General Music

Table of Contents

In Place of a Preface a Preface
Thinking I Think I Think
Ballad of Blue Green Plate
Fiddle of the Rat Faced Men
Total Valor
But Pharaoh Did Not Listen to Moses
Two Places at Once
Captain Cappuccino and His Merry Con Leches
From Talk Alone You Don’t Get a Poem
Immanuel Can’t but Sammy Can
In Between
Polynesian Days
Nickey, Turn Off the Lights (2)
The Age of Correggio and the Carracci
Like This
The Impunity of Garden Flowers
Johnny Cake Hollow
The Manufacture of Negative Experience
The Knees Have It
The Human Abstract
Poem Composed for Jackson Mac Low
Doggy Bag
The Throat
Little Orphan Anagram
Common Stock
The Smell of Cheap Cigars
Max Weber’s Favorite Tylenol for Teething
American Boy with Bat
Cover Up Me for I Cannot Myself Cover
Echo Off (Use Other Entrance)
Lily’s Dream
Continuity of Affiliation / Disabling Capacity
The Emotional Truth
Your Ad Here
Empty Biscuits
If .Gif Were a Place
Ruminative Ablution
Today’s Not Opposite Day
Peanut Butter and Jellyfish
Mr. Matisse in San Diego
Egg Under My Feet
Low Regrets
It’s Always Fair Measure
Besotted Desquamation
O! Li Po!
Contagious Proximity
Windows 95
Pinot Blanco
My God Has an Attitude Problem
The Holler
The Inevitable Flow of Material Things Through the Pores of the Years
Hoods and Scatters
These Horses Do Not Move Up and Down
The Stepmother’s Hunger
"This Us Is Only . . ."
Ms. Otis Regrets
The Boy Soprano
No More Cartwheels Off the Dock
Frequently Unasked Questions
Why We Ask You Not to Touch
Make It Snappy & That’s Final
Sprung Monuments
This Poem Intentionally Left Blank
Log Rhythms

Notes and Acknowledgments

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press