John Cage

Tyler Cowen talks about John Cage today, as what would be his 100th is coming up.  His quotes link doesn’t include my favorite.  Possibly apocryphal, I believe I got it from the Paris Review interview of Sam Shepard which I am WAY too busy to reread right now:

Theater exists all around us and it is the purpose of formal theater to remind us.

I told that quote to the actor friend I thought would most appreciate it and even he kinda scoffed.

Couple curios from Cage’s wikipedia page:

On his education at Pomona:

 I was shocked at college to see one hundred of my classmates in the library all reading copies of the same book. Instead of doing as they did, I went into the stacks and read the first book written by an author whose name began with Z. I received the highest grade in the class. That convinced me that the institution was not being run correctly. I left.

And:

After several months in Paris, Cage’s enthusiasm for America was revived after he read Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass – he wanted to return immediately, but his parents, with whom he regularly exchanged letters during the entire trip, persuaded him to stay in Europe for a little longer and explore the continent.

Whose parents ever did that?

He went to Santa Monica, California, where he made a living partly by giving small, private lectures on contemporary art.

What?  Who paid for that?  How much?  Sounds like something PON might get away with:

Cage was working at his mother’s arts and crafts shop, where he met artist Xenia Andreyevna Kashevaroff. She was an Alaskan-born daughter of a Russian priest; her work encompassed fine bookbinding, sculpture and collage. Although Cage was involved in relationships with Don Sample and with architect Rudolph Schindler’s wife Pauline when he met Xenia, he fell in love immediately.

Well, yeah.  An Alaskan-born daughter of a Russian priest walks in, introduces herself as Xenia, and starts talking bookbinding, it’s Robyn time.

Cage met [Allen] Kaprow while on a mushroom hunt with George Segal and invited him to join his class.

That’s from the chapter of the wiki called ’60s: FAME



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