Where is the litterature which gives expression to Nature? He would be a poet who could impress the winds and streams into his service, to speak for him; who nailed words to their primitive senses, as farmers drive down stakes in the spring, which the frost has heaved; who derived his words as often as he used them – transplanted them to his page with earth adhering to their roots; whose words were so true and fresh and natural that they would appear to expand like the buds at the approach of spring, though they lay half smothered between two musty leaves in a library – aye, to bloom and bear fruit there, after their kind, annually, for the faithful reader, in sympathy with surrounding Nature.
Henry David Thoreau – Writing the Wilderness
From ‘Walking’ (1862), in Essays and Other Writings
Ed. Will H. Dircks, London: Walter Scott Ltd, 1895.
In 1954, when I went to Europe, I no sooner arrived in Paris than I noticed that the city was covered with posters publicizing a mushroom exhibition that was being held in the Botanical Gardens. That was all I needed. Off I went. When I arrived, I found myself in a large room filled with many tables upon which were displayed many species of fungi. On the hour from a large centrally-placed loudspeaker a recorded lecture on the deadly poisonous amanitas was delivered. During this lecture, nobody in the hall moved or spoke. Each person’s attention was, so to speak, riveted to the information being given.
A week later, I was in Cologne in Germany attending a concert of electronic music. There was also an audience and a large loudspeaker. However, many in the audience were dozing off, and some were talking to their neighbors.
John Cage, Indeterminacy