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Anarchy

New York City-January 1998

John Cage

Publication Year: 2001

"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.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press

Title Page/Copyright

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pp. ii-iv

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Introduction

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pp. v-x

In order to write Themes and Variations I made a cursory examination of my earlier books, jotting down subjects or ideas which still seemed lively to me. When I counted them up they came to one hundred and ten. Anarchy is one of them. The themes of Themes and Variations are the named...

Poems 1-5

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pp. 1-30

Poems 6-10

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pp. 31-49

Poems 11-15

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pp. 50-71

Poems 16-20

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pp. 72-82


E-ISBN-13: 9780819570574
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819564665

Page Count: 91
Publication Year: 2001