"Begin Again is a much more nuanced picture of Cage’s personal life than has currently been available . . . What emerges most powerfully is Cage’s enormous capacity for work, together with his exceptional self-discipline as an artist and his willingness to approach every new challenge with a ‘beginner’s mind.’ For this alone it is a book worthy of being read by anyone, young or old, who is faced with the daunting task of a new creative beginning." —John Adams, The New York Times Book Review
"The life of Cage is meticulously told." —The New Yorker
"Outstanding." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Arty connoisseurs might find the definitive John Cage biography, Begin Again, by Kenneth Silverman, thrilling."
–James Hannaham, Village Voice, Holiday Gift Books for Any Kind of Troublesome Friend
"Excellent, thoroughly researched . . . The first in-depth, detailed account of Cage's rich and colorful life . . . Silverman's prose is lively and occasionally mirrors Cage's own wit." --Library Journal (starred review)
“Since his death almost two decades ago, Cage's influence has increased to the point where he is now seen as one of the major creative spirits of his age. This marvelous biography brings into focus the many elusive facets of his music, and situates them against the background of his personal life and the seething cultural currents of the era.” —John Ashbery
“Silverman’s artful narrative lays bare Cage’s compositional processes, aesthetic posturing and the cross-cultural philosophical underpinnings to his work with a clarity that musicologists and art historians have yet to achieve. Not just an exemplary biography, but a significant contribution to the cultural history of American music.”—Kirkus, starred review
“John Cage, whose pieces dazzled and confounded audiences for six decades, hardly seems the easiest of subjects for the biographer, but this is a well-researched, coherent, quite readable account of the composer and his work.” —Alan Moores, Booklist
“John Cage, a master of musical modernism, meets Kenneth Silverman, a master of the biographical art. Cage, the most innovative composer of recent times, comes freshly alive in Kenneth Silverman’s magisterial biography. Silverman distills an astonishing amount of information in an engaging, fluid narrative that brings alive every facet of John Cage’s life—his loves, his friendships, his career, and his path-blazing experiments with sound. Cage expanded music, and Silverman considerably expands our knowledge of Cage by interweaving fascinating new details of his everyday life with insightful accounts of his musical maturation. A gripping, ceaselessly revelatory biography.” —David S. Reynolds, author of Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson and Walt Whitman’s America: A Cultural Biography.
“Begin Again is a glittering manifestation of the biographer’s craft. With impeccable aim and pitch-perfect tone, Kenneth Silverman has curated the crowded, cacophonous, frenetic and fractured details of modernist master John Cage’s life into a witty and sensuous literary exhibition. Readers will feel privileged to attend the gala opening of this cosmopolitan show—performance art between two covers!” —Neil Baldwin, author of Man Ray: American Artist
As another reviewer said, this is a somewhat impersonal biography. It gives details of many things that Cage did, including just about every piece of music he ever composed, but I... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kirk McElhearn
I am totally enjoying this book. I have studied Cage's music for years, and enjoyed his artwork as well. Read morePublished on May 23, 2011 by George M. Kahn