Anarchy by John Cage
New York City-January 1998

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"That government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have." This quote from Henry David Thoreau's Essay on Civil Disobedience is one of thirty quotations from which John Cage created Anarchy, a book-length lecture comprising twenty mesostic poems. Composed with the aid of a computer program to simulate the coin toss of the I Ching, Anarchy draws on the writings of many serious anarchists including Emma Goldman, Peter Kropotkin, and Mario Malatesta, not so much making arguments for anarchism as "brushing information against information," giving the very words new combinations that de-familiarize and re-energize them. Now widely available of the first time, Anarchy marks the culmination of Cage's work as a poet, composer and as a thinker about contemporary society.

About John Cage

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John Cage (1912 - 1992) was one of the seminal figures of the avant-garde in the U.S. A composer for whom the whole world -- with its brimming silences and anarchic harmonies -- was a source of music, Cage studied music with Adolph Weiss, Arnold Schoenberg, and others, later collaborating with such artists as Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Cage was the author of many books, including Silence, X, A Year from Monday, M, and Empty Words. The latter are all in print with Wesleyan, along with Joan Retallack's interviews with Cage, MUSICAGE: Cage Muses on Words, Art, Music and a paperback edition of Cage's Norton lectures at Harvard, I-VI.
Published July 15, 2001 by Wesleyan. 91 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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The poems themselves do create space for rethinking what anarchy and, more immediately, sovereignty can mean in a fully globalized 21st century, despite their resistance of common sense: "neArest/ oNly/ fOr/ To/ perisH/ unitEd/ dominion of Religion/ songs of loyalTy/ yEt/ soiL/ siLence/ thiS myst...

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Time Magazine

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(Owing, I think, partly to the fact that at the start Clay was just a better-written and -acted character than Jax.) As the series has continued, the various characters in SAMCRO have been fleshed out, and the differences between Clay and Jax have been complicated, the differences between their v...

Oct 21 2009 | Read Full Review of Anarchy: New York City-Januar...

LA Times

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At the artist's studio, first in Brooklyn and then in upstate New York, raw sheet metal and iron went in one end and finished sculpture came out the other.

Apr 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Anarchy: New York City-Januar...

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