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Lectures on Nothing

"So it was that about 1949 I [avant-garde composer John Cage] gave my Lectures on Nothing at the Artists' club on Eighth Street in New York City. This Lecture on Nothing was written in the same rhythmic structure I employed at the time in my musical compositions. One of the structural divisions was the repetition, some fourteen times, of a single page in which occurred the refrain, 'If anyone is sleepy let him go to sleep.' Jeanne Reynal, I remember, stood up part way through, screamed, and then said, while I continued speaking, 'John, I dearly love you but I can't bear another minute.' She then walked out. Later, during the question period, I gave one of the six previously prepared answers regardless of the question asked. This was a reflection of my engagement in Zen."
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