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Passwords: Marjorie Perloff on John Cage
Featured Poets:Marjorie Perloff
November 13, 2012, 7 p.m.
Poets House, 10 River Terrace, New York, NY
Reading and listening to John Cage in the twenty-first century, we can begin to understand his role as a central precursor of the Conceptualist movement of our time. As in the case of Marcel Duchamp's readymades, which exerted such a profound influence on him, Cage’s texts depend on choice, framing, and rearrangement. In such works as “Writing through Howl,” the Roaratorio (as performed at IRCAM), and especially the critical-biographical “essays²” on Jasper Johns, Rauschenberg, and Schoenberg--essays largely constructed from the words of the artists (and composer) themselves—Cage invents a new form of poem-critique that looks ahead to our own moment.
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