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Silence
Lectures and Writings
John Cage

Wesleyan University Press

distributed by University Press of New England

1961 • 288 pp. 7 x 8 1/4″

“As the unchallenged father figure of American experimental music, Mr. Cage wields an influence that extends far beyond sound alone….Indeed, the entire American avant-garde would be unthinkable without Mr. Cage’s music, writings, and genially patriarchical personality.”—John Rockwell, The New York Times

Silence, A Year from Monday, M, Empty Words and X (in this order) form the five parts of a series of books in which Cage tries, as he says, “to find a way of writing which comes from ideas, is not about them, but which produces them.” Often these writings include mesostics and essays created by subjecting the work of other writers to chance procedures using the I Ching (what Cage called “writing through”).

“Of all Cage’s books, it is perhaps the first, Silence, which has had the broadest impact. Even now, artists of all sorts continue to respond to its Zen principles, its chance procedures, and its revolutionary ideas about sound, silence, form, and time”—Dance Chronicle

“SILENCE starts with the finest dedications of modern times—‘To Whom It May Concern’—and past that you embark on one of the most entertaining and rewarding intellectual voyages that contemporary literature affords.”—Alfred Frankenstein, San Francisco Chronicle”

“One of the most entertaining and rewarding intellectual voyages that contemporary literature affords.”—San Francisco Chronicle

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