Abstract

John Cage's poetry is often analyzed in relation to conceptual writing and constraint, making Cage seem particularly absent. This essay argues that the conceptual writing found in "62 Mesostics re Merce Cunningham" is not devoid of emotion. Quite the contrary, the mesostics become the equivalent of a love letter. By employing Saussure's paragram studies, Foucault's theory of heterotopias, and chaos theory, the essay shows that there is something in language that renders it as either a constrained vehicle of love (in the Cagean mesostic), or as a nonlinear system that features disequilibria and chance emergences of meaning (in the Saussurean paragram).

Additional Information

ISSN
1053-1920
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-03
Open Access
No
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