Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1979. First edition. Quarto. Ix, 187pp. Black cloth boards, white spine titles; dust jacket. Light foxing to edges of textblock and sporadically to interior; boards lightly shelfworn; mild musty odor. In a price-clipped jacket showing moderate rubbing and wear, particularly along the spine hinges. Very good in like jacket. Neatly signed (first name only) and inscribed ("For Jo") by Cage, in red felt-tip pen, on the half-title.
Inscribed first edition of this 1979 collection of essays, mesostics, and other procedurally generated writings by the avant-garde American composer. The title work is a text-score in which chance operations are used to systematically deconstruct the journals of Henry David Thoreau—a tactic born of Cage's interest in "demilitarizing" language by making it less understandable. Other pieces include a long anecdotal poem relating to Cage's macrobiotic diet, and the "The Future of Music," which was essentially the last of Cage's nonfiction works written in a traditional essay format.