Where the Heart Beats
John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists
Penguin: 477 pp., $29.95
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, composer John Cage underwent related crises in his personal and musical lives. He was America's most progressive, most original, most brilliant, most charming and most media-genic young artist. But he had reached a dead end.
Shortly after moving to New York from the West Coast by way of Chicago, Cage, who was born 100 years ago this September in Los Angeles, made his New York debut in 1943 with a concert of percussion music held at the Museum of Modern Art. It was big news and was...