Musicage: Cage Muses on Art, Words and MusicEdited by Joan Retallack. Softcover, 360 pages, text only. Published by Wesleyan University Press, 1996.
"I was obliged to find a radical way to work--to get at the real, at the root of the matter," John Cage says in this trio of dialogues completed just days before his death in 1992. His quest led him beyond the bounds of the conventional in all his musical, written and visual pieces.
The resulting expansion of the definition of art--with its concomitant emphasis on innovation and invention--earned him a reputation as one of America's most influential contemporary artists. Joan Retallak's conversations with Cage represent the first consideration of his artistic production in its entirety, across genres, providing new insights into the man and a clearer view of the status of art in the twentieth century.