Gained in Translation: Words about Cage in late 1950's Germany.

Iddon, Martin (2007) Gained in Translation: Words about Cage in late 1950's Germany. Contemporary Music Review, 26 (1). pp. 89-104. ISSN 0749-4467

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John Cage's 1958 visit to Darmstadt has taken on an unprecedented level of significance in the historiography of new music. Borio argues that Cage's physical arrival in Europe was one of four primary reasons for the dissolution of serial thinking. This article queries, though, whether the impact of Cage's visit was not created by Cage's own words or music, but instead by the translation of Cage's words into German. An analysis of the translation shows significant disparities between it and the original, making politically concrete in German what was only implicit in English. In short, this article will argue that one of the most significant controversies in the history of the post-war avant-garde became so through Cage's assimilation, through translation, into a burgeoning German political debate.

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Journal Article
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Contemporary Music Review
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16 Dec 2008 08:47
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 18:43