Concord in Massachusetts, Discord in the World

The Writings of Henry Thoreau and John Cage

by Jannika Bock (Author)
©2008 Thesis XII, 276 Pages
Series: American Culture, Volume 6


«Reading Thoreau’s Journal, I discover any idea I’ve ever had worth its salt,» notes the American composer John Cage in 1968. Upon reading the words of nineteenth-century nature philosopher Henry Thoreau, Cage is immediately fascinated with the Transcendentalist’s ideas, in particular his views on music and silence. Recognizing his own beliefs in Thoreau’s writings, Cage began to rely heavily on the thoughts of the nineteenth-century man and implement them as the basis for his own compositions – both musical and written. Drawing on the complete oeuvres of Cage’s and Thoreau’s written works, this book surveys the intertextual relation between the writings of the two men. In the juxtaposition of these authors’ aesthetics, this book reveals surprising overlaps in the thoughts of Cage and Thoreau.


XII, 276
ISBN (Softcover)
Thoreau, Henry David Moderne Musik Rezeption Cage, John Amerikanische Literatur Amerikanische Kultur Transzendentalismus Avantgarde Musik
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008., XII, 276 pp. 8 fig.

Biographical notes

Jannika Bock (Author)

The Author: Jannika Bock holds a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from the University of Hamburg (Germany). She studied American Literature and Culture as well as Musicology, spending several semesters at North American universities, including Harvard University, Smith College, Cornell University and Naropa University.


Title: Concord in Massachusetts, Discord in the World