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spacer Book: Silence - Lectures and Writings by John Cage spacer  

Narrative: Silence: Lectures and Writings by John Cage

The paper was made from pulp obtained by chemical means, known as kraft pulping. Chips of wood were placed in a large, sealed container known as a digester. The digester contained a strongly alkaline solution of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfide. Bleaching removes lignin and involves mixing the pulp with a series of oxidizing chemicals that react with the lignin. After each mixture, the pulp was washed with an alkaline solution that removes the treated lignin. Fillers were added to the pulp. (A typical filler is a clay known as kaolin. Other chemicals often added to pulp include starches or gums. Rosin and alum are often added as sizers, making the paper less absorbent.) Pulp was added to water to form slurry in order to make paper with an even density. The slurry was pumped onto a moving mesh screen made up of very fine wires of metal or plastic. Water drained through the small openings in the mesh, and formed a sheet of wet material from the slurry. The sheet was moved on a series of belst made of felt containing wool, cotton, and synthetic fibers. The dried sheets moved between rollers known as calendars to make it smooth.

This book belonged to artist Stephanie Dedes, my roommate for six years. She left it behind and I adopted it. In exchange, I left a fair amount behind that she adopted.

Silence, John Cage's first book and epic masterpiece, was published in October 1961. In these lectures, scores, and writings, Cage tries, as he says, to find a way of writing that comes from ideas, is not about them, but that produces them. Often these writings include mesostics and essays created by subjecting the work of other writers to chance procedures using the I Ching.






  mary mattingly