By Penny Johnson, Contributing Author

In her latest book, Words and Music: Camus, Beckett, Cage, Gould (New York: Peter Lang, 2010) Deborah Weagel explores the relationship between words and music, as evidenced in the selected works of French author/philosopher, Albert Camus (1913-60), Irish writer, dramatist and poet, Samuel Beckett (1906-89), American composer/writer, John Cage (1912-92) and Canadian pianist, Glenn Gould (1932-82).

Published in October 2010, Words and Music focuses on several important works including Camus’ novel, L’Étranger (The Stranger) published in 1942; Beckett’s absurdist play, En attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot) written in 1948/49; 4’33’’ a controversial musical work by Cage, written in 1952 and Song Books a collection of short works compiled by the composer in 1970; Gould’s Solitude Trilogy a collection of three contrapuntal radio documentaries produced between 1967 and 1977. From Camus who utilized musical terms/structures in some of his writings, and Beckett – himself a pianist who admired Gould – whose En attendant Godot contains directions pertaining to dynamics, expression and tempo, to Cage and Gould who, respectively, experimented with silence, and created intricate contrapuntal textures using spoken word and music, the book offers a unique perspective to scholars, teachers and students alike. For more information please click here.

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