using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Fall 2012
FALL 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 41 against common sense today particularly in all fields of art. And if we don’t check these insipid fungus growths that eat into the common sense of our people, their destructive influence will grow and gradually undermine the health and vitality of our civilization. 4'33" Ever Since Over the next half century, 4'33" has continued to be confounding on many fronts at once. Practically everything about it—including its informal title, “the silent piece”—is contested in one way or another. One can easily get lost in the minutiae of 4'33"—the several scores, the differing instructions, the later versions—and miss the big issues. Cage was still trying to get the message across in 1988, four years before his death: [Cage:] I knew that it would be taken as a joke and a renunciation of work, whereas I also knew that if it was done it would be the highest form of work. Or this form of work: an art without work. I doubt whether many peo- ple understand it yet. [Q:] Well, the traditional understanding is that it opens you up to the sounds that exist around you and... [Cage:] ...and to the acceptance of anything... [Q:] ...yes... [Cage:] ...even when you have something as the basis. And that’s how it’s misunderstood. [Q:] What’s a better understanding of it? [Cage:] It opens you up to any possibility only when nothing is taken as the basis. But most people don’t understand that, as far as I can tell. Stepping gingerly around the bog of interpretations, we go to D.T. Suzuki and ask his advice. “Properly speaking, Zen has its own field where it functions to its best advantage,” he tells us at the beginning of Third Series. “As soon as it wanders outside this field, it loses its natural color and to that extent ceases to be itself. When it attempts to explain itself by means of a philosophical system it is no longer Zen pure and simple; it partakes of something which does not strictly belong to it.” So—let’s predict—all the musicological interpretations of 4'33" are doomed to fail. They all consist of tossing sticks (forms) into emptiness. Then what is 4'33"? Before anything else, it’s an experience. David Tudor walks across the stage and sits down within the boundaryless universe. He crosses his legs (so to speak) and begins an interval of non-doing. As the stopwatch ticks, he will perform “nothing.” In these four-plus minutes an opening occurs. No expression of will or ego. No walls between composer and performer. No walls between the pianist and the people listening. No dualistic divisions into “high” or “low,” “good” or “not good.” No “art” versus “life.” No value judgments and no lack of value judgments. REPRODUCEDWITHPERMISSIONOFVIVIANPERLIS