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The Johnston Letter, Volume 2, Number 7
George Brecht, the Philosopher of Fluxus

By Jill Johnston
Copyright 2007 Jill Johnston

Originally published in the April 2006 issue of Art in America.

"The whole universe interests me." -- George Brecht

"I don't believe in art, I believe in artists." -- Marcel Duchamp

"Not one sound fears the silence that extinguishes it." -- John Cage

Call me a Fluxus artist. On four different occasions I have partnered with one. And one has been George Brecht, the great Fluxmaster, now 79, subject of a recent comprehensive retrospective at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. Partnering has been a salient feature of Fluxus since its origins in the early 1960s. In both partnering and grouping, Fluxus artists have subsumed their individuality, distinguishing themselves from the modernist tradition supporting the lone innovative genius. Lineages of skilled craftsmen in established mediums were disdained by Fluxmen and the scarce women in their ranks. Hallowed mediums were themselves under elimination, gone in the vortex called Intermedia.

But George Brecht was a genius! In his creation known as the Event-Score, he invented a whole new genre. At the heart of the Fluxconcert -- that most delectable of group Fluxus enterprises worldwide (chiefly in America, Europe and Japan) -- was the Brechtian Event, a minimal action derived from the reading of a "score" consisting often of just a single word. "Solo for Violin Viola Cello or Contrabass," a classic Brecht score ever popular with Fluxus artists, carries the one-word notation, "polishing." Judging from photos in Fluxus compendiums, and from the Fluxconcert of Brecht scores that preceded the September '05 opening of his retrospective in Cologne, the preferred enactment of this score in any performance setting has been sitting on a chair or stool and polishing a violin.(1) Between 1960 and 1963, Brecht's peak inspirational years, he wrote around 150 scores. Titles in black type appeared on small white stock cards, with bullet points underneath signaling the notation. It seems doubtful that Brecht thought he was doing anything new himself, or if he did, considered that he was the author of it. The "death of the author" was epitomized in his Event-Score. He often said the score didn't exist without the attention of a witness, a viewer who might interpret and perform it, or simply take mental note of it, perhaps imagining some relevant (or irrelevant) action. Simply to read a score is to perform it. Obviously we could all be a part of this; we were all potential partners.

A number of Brecht's Event-Scores first appeared in a fellow-artist's mailbox. Composer La Monte Young was for Brecht a favorite mark, with early Brecht pieces, like "Solo for Wind Instrument" ("putting it down"), or "String Quartet" ("shaking hands"), referencing music or musical instruments. Mail Art, a chief alternative means of getting the word out and of creating an international network, was rampant between Fluxus artists in the early '60s. My own partnering with Brecht actually started in 1961- 63 when first we corresponded, but he was addressing me at that time as a critic, explaining his points of view -- most strikingly as I can see now, his position on John Cage.

Cage, the godhead at that time of new ideas in art, became Brecht's teacher and mentor beginning in 1958 when Brecht enrolled in his famous course in experimental composition at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan. Brecht would soon begin to outdistance Cage. After Cage, and Cage's hero Marcel Duchamp, came Brecht. Here was a lineage indeed, with its source in Duchamp's renunciation of painting and launch of the Readymade as far back as 1912; its continuation in Cage's own apostasy in music and wayward introduction of chance methodology together with his "musical" version of the Readymade in "found" sound, conceived as either noise or silence; and its logical conclusion in Brecht's disappearing act through the Event-Score.

With the Event-Score, any author-agency, such as Cage's structural notations for "indeterminate" outcomes, was virtually abandoned. Cage was still making music. Brecht posed a world without it -- or one permeated by it. "No matter what you do," he said, "you're always hearing something." One of his cards bears the ironic title "Virtuoso Listener," with the score "can hear music at any time." Life itself is music. You don't need "music" to experience it. "After the stream is crossed," Brecht wrote in one of his letters to me, "the raft must be abandoned." By "raft" he meant any organizational system, such as Cage's chance methods, widely adopted by composers, poets and others whom he influenced, to keep generating music or art -- albeit of a radically alternative kind. Brecht's interest was in "demonstrating the urgency of crossing the stream (mindlessly, and with no purpose)."

Event-Scores became the rage with Fluxus, providing countless tiny scenarios for performances that could be strung together in Fluxconcerts, with Flux artists acting in pieces by each other. Countless more were never performed, though many have been published. Early scores by Brecht, conceived in Cage's class, are as instructional in their way as Cage's own notations. His 1960 "Motor Vehicle Sundown (Event)," dedicated to Cage, has "any number" of performers, each manning a motor vehicle, and provided with a set of instruction cards listing 22 actions to be performed consecutively -- all the things you can imagine doing in a car, like turning headlights off and on, or opening and closing doors and trunks. For the Museum Ludwig retrospective, the score was performed on Cologne's Dom Plaza in front of the cathedral on Sept. 17, 2005.

During 1961 Brecht moved from the directive to the elective and discretionary. Notations under titles would at first seem related, as with "at least one egg," under Egg. Then quite unrelated, such as "turning," under "Symphony No. 2." All notations, related or not to their titles, were reduced to nouns, or purely suggestive descriptions of actions that left out any verb, as in "from a suitcase," the score for "Suitcase." In another early 1960s collection of Event-Scores, original and often poetic, by Yoko Ono, the notations under all her titles begin with command verbs like "Observe" or "Count" or "Write" or "Throw."(2) An Ono title, "Painting to be Watered" (1961) has a typical imperative: "Water every day." Pronouns here are understood. It's all in the grammar. Scores by Alison Knowles (often produced in conjunction with her prolifically active husband, Dick Higgins) are generally also prescriptive or advisory.(3) "Street Piece" (1963) says, "Make something in the street and give it away." "Shuffle" of 1961 goes: "The performer or performers shuffle into the performance area and away from it, above, behind, around, or through the audience. They perform as a group or solo: but quietly."(4) In 1965, Ben Vautier, the French Fluxman, wrote "Fifty-Eight Propositions" that read like Event-Scores -- sans titles, however.(5) Practically every proposition includes the words, "this page." Almost all begin with command verbs. One that doesn't reads, "this page is a work of art." In others, Vautier playfully undercut the peremptory moxie of his instructions: "swallow this page," or "set fire to this page" or "look everywhere else."

The leap that Brecht made under Cage, passing him by, was a career-changing one. It took him into a conceptual never-never-land, where he disavowed his authorship and the relevance of any particular response. In an anarchic group of artists like Fluxus, this position made him very attractive indeed. And while "everybody could do it," "it" was not something everybody could understand by any means -- always an appealing situation to hothouse artists operating far from the mainstream. In his haiku-like scores, Brecht found a form for driving home such isolated, smart Dada sayings as Tristan Tzara's "Art is not the most precious manifestation of life. Art has not the celestial and universal value that people like to attribute to it. Life is far more interesting."(6) Still, it's impossible to say that Brecht, the philosopher of Fluxus, didn't invent an "art form" to illustrate the preeminence of life. The paradox is everything.

And what kind of life did George Brecht favor? One thing he liked was chairs. Writing in Art in America three decades ago, Jan van der Marck observed, "Brecht takes the world sitting down. The chair, just barely pried loose from domesticity and always ready to be reused, is a prominent object of his affection." On view at the exhibition in Cologne were a large number of Brechtian chairs, found objects a lot more common than Duchamp's urinal or stool-mounted bicycle wheel. Brecht's chairs may stand alone or have objects on or near them. The first and perhaps most interesting chair was titled "Chair with a History" (1966). Brecht told an interviewer: "In Rome I bought a very simple wooden chair and a very beautiful book bound in red leather. I began to note down in the book where I'd bought the chair, how much I'd paid for it and where I'd found the pen I was writing with and the kind of ink I was using and so forth. Then I exhibited the chair and the book and everyone was invited to add to the book whatever was happening while he was sitting on the chair."(8)

Alas, the chair and book are now history. At Museum Ludwig, you were not, naturally, allowed to sit on the chair much less write in the book. Brecht's ideal of participation, once possible in settings like the Reuben Gallery in downtown Manhattan, site of Brecht's first solo exhibit in 1959, has gone the way of an incipient canonization.

Along with the chairs at Museum Ludwig were a number of Brecht's boxes and cabinets, also originally made for interaction, with play elements and open compartments containing common objects (a.k.a. Readymades) that viewers could move around. "Repository" (1961) is a tall white cabinet that has 16 compartments of different sizes, two with narrow doors, and two drawers at the bottom. One section consists of nine identical square compartments in a tic-tac-toe configuration; eight of these each holds a unique ball (e.g., twine, Xmas bulb, baseball...), leaving one space empty -- a suggestive invitation to move the objects around (if not to oust and replace them). The very year "Repository" was made, the Museum of Modern Art in New York not only included the cabinet in its trailblazing "Art of Assemblage" show, but bought it. As early as that, the collectivist spirit of Brecht's offerings was denied. But to this viewer, anyway, none of Brecht's boxes and cabinets, or Fluxkits (those briefcases of assembled objects and literature, after Duchamp's "Boite-en-Valise," so favored by Fluxus artists), ever looked approachable for some divinely populist intervention. While far from the intimate, untouchably mysterious, allusively narrative, ultra-aesthetic box creations of Joseph Cornell (a Fluxus influence at a distance), they are beautiful -- clearly "art" -- nonetheless. And buyable -- unlike the Event-Scores, which as concepts are the purest, most generous giveaway imaginable by an artist to people at large. Here we want to put quotes around "artist," expressing the paradox that was Fluxus at its best. And we should, I think, want to know more about how such a deviant and subversive tradition in art developed.

Why, for instance, did Duchamp renounce painting and deploy found objects in art contexts? And why did Cage abandon music and inaugurate "noise"? Why did they both react against the universally well-formed artist's ego? Did any significant failures figure in their histories? While I was writing to Brecht in 1989 in Cologne (where he had been living more and more reclusively as an American ex-pat since 1972), in a correspondence that had long since morphed from the polarized artist-and-critic pairing to something a lot friendlier, I told him about my interest in "Fluxlives." I thought that bio-histories of Fluxus artists and performers, along with foundational dates, names and places, could shed light on how so many diverse individuals ended up together in an international community. Among the typical Fluxfestival which often appropriated an entire city for days on end, with street performances and concerts in odd places like train stations, there was the classic "Festival of Misfits" in London in 1962, the year George Maciunas gave Fluxus its name. If Fluxartists were Misfits, and surely they were, I wanted their credentials. Brecht wrote back saying he was "retired from Fluxus," and asked, "What do you mean that Fluxlives interest you?"

Somewhere in a subsequent letter I mentioned the fathers. "The fathers of these guys especially interest me." And in the flotsam of exchanges, I would regale George with reports of meetings I was having with his historic mentor Cage, whom I knew socially fairly well at that time. In a surprise move, with a letter George wrote Sept. 26, 1991, he turned me into a more active Flux partner. By then he knew a thing or two about my own father (never a subject I kept hidden from anyone), though I knew nothing whatever concerning his, and had never asked. Proposing a "Father-project" between us, he said, "For every item of your father-research, I'll give you one of mine." And he started it off: "My father gave up music-making in the mid-'30s by lying down and not breathing any more on the couch at 165 W. 82nd Street, where we were living at the time." In his next letter, he repeated the news of the death: "My father breathed his last around 1936." But added the promised new item that his father was a flutist.(9) Ah! And he included a large Xerox of an impressively striking photo of his father seated in a wicker armchair, in formal concert tux, flute held in left hand, looking up at a fellow musician, a clarinetist, standing next to him. Now I wanted to know his name, and his age at death, but George never told me, and I pulled back, being engaged in the matter as a friend, not as a writer. By the late 1990s our correspondence had dropped off. Then in March 2005, when the Museum Ludwig asked me to contribute to the Brecht retrospective catalogue, the forgotten "Father-Project" rose up like an Excalibur in my head. I would write a kind of "realization" of it, something Event-Scores are said to achieve when anyone decides to perform them, or think about them or do anything at all about them.

It was evident right away that Brecht's father, and John Cage -- his "liberator" as he would call him -- were linked in the field of music, and that both men were performers. As a professional flutist, Brecht's father had played in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Stokowski, the NBC Radio Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini, at Radio City Music Hall, and in the John Phillips Sousa Band. He was born George Ellis Macdiarmid in 1894, in Little Rock, Ark., and died just as Brecht told me, in 1936. So he was 42, and son George, also George Ellis Macdiarmid and an only child, was just ten at the time. In the world of Fluxus it's been common knowledge that Brecht had long ago changed his name, though nobody seemed to know from what exactly, or when or why, and he has said Bertolt was not his reference, that he picked the name more or less out of a hat. For the Ludwig catalogue, he provided more information. He left Macdiarmid behind and became Brecht in his late teens, around 1945, while serving in the army and stationed in Germany.(10) It's a serious breach to make such a change. Succession in the paternal name is a mark of pride and self-respect, even necessity, in any patriarchal culture. By changing his name, he broke not just with his father but a grandfather and a great-grandfather who were also George Macdiarmids.(11) Brecht clearly intended to re-invent himself somehow. During his 20s, as he prepared himself for a career in chemistry, he was also involved with art. He became a successful research chemist, and was awarded various patents; in art, he developed his painting by chance methods, using statistics and random numbers. He also married and had a son, Eric, born in 1953. By the mid-'50s he was well aware of the work of both John Cage and Marcel Duchamp.

In 1993, while I was visiting Brecht in Cologne, he added to his father lore for me, providing two details that would help me form a view of this artist's work through the agency or legacy of his progenitor. He said his father had a "nervous breakdown" when he had to play the lengthy flute passage that opens Ravel's "Bolero." And that he "died from alcohol.... One morning he just didn't wake up." Of the 144 Event-Scores listed in the Ludwig catalogue, made by Brecht between 1959 and 1963, at least 27 have obvious musical citations, and of these there is one, titled "Flute Solo" (1962), with a notation reading "disassembling assembling," that Brecht, in an unusual revelation of a source, has linked directly to his father. In the 1970s, Brecht told the British composer and musicologist Michael Nyman about an incident when his father was playing for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra:

"A soprano was bugging everybody with temper tantrums during rehearsal. At a certain point the orchestra crashed onto a major seventh and there was silence for the soprano and flute cadenza. Nothing happened. The soprano looked down into the orchestra pit and saw that my father had completely taken apart his flute, down to the last screw. I used this idea in my 1962 "Flute Solo."(12)

Brecht has himself done a precise "realization" of "Flute Solo," taking a flute apart "down to the last screw" and putting it back together again. Nyman smartly pointed out to Brecht in his interview that his "sound-producing instruments [in the Event-Scores] have been made mute (the violin, in "Solo for Violin Viola Cello or Contrabass," is polished, not played), and non-sounding instruments, or non-instruments, for instance a comb ("Comb Music," 1962) are made sounding."  "Flute Solo" is one of many in the former category.

One Fluxus favorite of Brecht's that foils or circumvents an instrument's traditional use has been "Piano Piece" (1962), with the notation, "a vase of flowers/on(to) a piano." In a review I wrote in 1964 titled "Fluxus Fuxus" of a flawlessly entertaining Fluxconcert at Carnegie Recital Hall, I described Brecht's performance of it, "... placing a vase of flowers... on the grand piano."(13) In Cologne Sept. 16, 2005, in an unfortunately lengthy and disorganized pre-opening concert of Brecht scores, it was performed the same way.(14)

Brecht doesn't distinguished between the event-as-performance and the event-as-object. And he conflates what you see and what you hear. Writer Henry Martin asked him, "You mean to say that all the accidental environmental sounds that surround the piece become a part of the realization of the score?"

GB: Yes, that's right.

HM: In that case even the chairs are musical?

GB: Yes, in fact, there is perhaps nothing that is not musical. Perhaps there's no moment in life that's not musical.... All instruments, musical or not, become instruments.(15)

And he meant the chairs, suitcases, dressers, clothes trees, tables, lamps, hooks and key holes, motor vehicles, eggs, clocks, mirrors, sinks, ladders and many other "things" to be found in his titles, or to be found standing alone, on display, or dwelling multiply in his boxes, cabinets, and Fluxkits.

I can see the whole kit and caboodle -- furniture and fixtures and music and musical instruments and word-scores and games and puzzles -- as belonging in some imaginary home that Brecht built during his career, inviting us to visit him in it, sit in a chair or at a table, hang a coat on a clothes tree, turn on a lamp, turn it off, move things around, listen to the atmosphere, play solitaire with cards of his own design, eat an egg, and so on. There are no beds in Brecht's galaxy of objects, so I suppose staying overnight was never an option.

If music is Brecht's touchstone, its historical particularities are references made only for subversion. In Cage's famed invention, the Prepared Piano, the traditional use of piano keys to make music was transferred to the engine or strings of the piano to perform "noise." Music, however perverted, was still being made. Brecht, purely by concept, through word-forms, separates the sounds instruments emit from their sources, or converts all the world's objects into instruments worthy of making sounds.  In "Flute Solo," Brecht separates his father from his flute (as we understand the use of flutes), which had apparently caused him so much trouble, even to the extent of killing him. The way Brecht has told it, when his father toured with the Sousa Band, he was "introduced to strong drink, which later did him in."(16) With "Flute Solo," he transformed the instrument his father dismantled in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra pit into an object of interest in itself, lifting a funny insurrectionary story out of its original setting, isolating it in a benign, unassailable context -- a Fluxus performance.

In a touching work titled "The Chemistry of Music," a slide-lecture Brecht first delivered in London in 1969, he partnered his dead father, as can be deduced in drawings uniting musical properties like clefs and notes and instrument parts with chemical tubes and processes, the latter the paraphernalia of Brecht's career as a research chemist (which he had abandoned upon leaving the U.S. in 1965). As I wrote at the time, "To an accompaniment of drum music by Walter De Maria, Brecht projected slides taken from drawings on a 6-by-6-foot fiberboard.... He stood by the board, miming a lecture, pointing out aspects of the slides and occasionally setting off small fireworks." (17)

In the drawings, chemical processes are producing notes, and music is creating chemistry. One drawing shows a man playing a flute, a bent straw attached to flute's end, a drop of liquid falling from the straw into a test tube. He's "playing" Brecht's kind of music. Instead of sounds meant for ears, the flute is issuing fluid falling into a deaf lab receptacle. In a more complex drawing, a process ends up -- through a series of arrows pointing the way from a slot machine, a collection of drums and a mediating test tube -- in a bunch of sharps and one clef held in a man's open hand. Two very different careers, father's and son's, functionally compromised, meet in a fantasy of the absurd.

In Brecht's postmortem rescues of his father, if you want to call it that, he made good on his father's failure, not as a musician -- Brecht has said, "I guess he got pretty good.... As a joke he used to play Chopin's "Minute Waltz" in a minute" -- but as a father.(18) George Ellis Macdiarmid had a career that took him on the road a lot, making him more absent than traditionally absent fathers. He died when his son and only child was much too young, in an ending attributed to drink. The whole world (which is music, as Brecht has repeatedly said) is a world encompassed metonymically by his father. A world-map drawing in "The Chemistry of Music" project, with musical signs posted on all the continents of the globe, very graphically puts his father everywhere. Such brilliant translations or conversions are the stuff of the "failures" that preceded Brecht in art, leading to the two postmodernist revolutions -- in music and painting -- awaiting him in the late 1950s.

Brecht was lucky to find the cheerful and inspiring John Cage, whose own teacher back in the 1930s, Arnold Schoenberg, had been witheringly discouraging, showing a supreme lack of interest in Cage's work. "It became clear to both of us," Cage has said, "that I had no feeling for harmony." Without this feeling, Schoenberg warned Cage, he would always be thwarted in his efforts to write music, coming to a wall through which he couldn't pass. Cage's famous response was, "In that case I will devote my life to beating my head against that wall."(19) Much later, when Cage was well known, Schoenberg would say of him, "Of course he's not a composer, but an inventor -- of genius."(20) Curiously, Cage's father and paternal grandfather had both been inventors, and while he struck out on his own, first in painting, then music, he ended up in their footsteps anyway.

It was Cage, of course, who championed the once-failed French painter Marcel Duchamp in America after WWII, becoming the main channel of Duchamp's influence in the postmodernist realm of life-affirming "non-art," transmitted to a whole new generation. Said Duchamp of his crucible experience in March 1912 when he submitted his "Nude Descending a Staircase" to the Salon des Independants in Paris, then was forced to withdraw the painting, "It was really a turning point in my life, I can assure you."(21) The alignment of Duchamp's "failure" with the failure of modernism became one of the absorbing allegorical conflations of 20th-century art.

Duchamp's interests and influence are everywhere in Brecht's work. In the Ludwig exhibition was a little library of Brecht-owned books by the French mystery writer San-Antonio, a pen name for Frederic Dard, to whom Duchamp apparently paid homage with his 1951 phallic readymade, punningly titled "Objet Dard." From a paragraph in a 2000 obituary of Dard in the International Herald Tribune, it's easy to see what made him attractive to both Brecht and Duchamp. "By the time Mr. Dard died, he was recognized as a genius with words, a man who created so many extraordinary -- and untranslatable -- word games and neologisms, that he invented a language, an argot, all his own." The obituary goes on to say that Dard was a writer who "suffered from the condescending attitudes of traditional critics."(22) In the mid-1970s Brecht, with a surprising piece of fiction of his own, invented a misunderstood genius reflecting Dard and Duchamp, as well as Brecht himself. "The Brunch Museum" (1976), with 20 exhibits of objects accompanied by comical descriptive texts, is about a man called "W.E. Brunch" who died in 1974 at the age of 85. As a coincidence, or not, Duchamp, who died in 1968 at age 81, would have been close to 85 in 1974.

Unmistakably autobiographical (Brunch/Brecht, to begin with), it tells us something about how Brecht must have felt in the mid-1970s when he had retreated to Cologne, left Fluxus art circuits behind, and began enjoying a withdrawal, or hermitage that his Event-Scores had long predicted. One, titled "Two Signs" (1963), with notations "Silence" and "No Vacancy," sounds fairly portentous. He seemed destined to personify his disappearing act in the Event-Scores. But it could not have been easy. The death of (the fictional) W.E. Brunch, says Brecht in an introductory text, "came as a terrible blow to all those who knew him." The purpose of The Brunch Museum exhibits was to inspire a "more widespread appreciation of the great man," and for "the world to know about the life and work of this visionary genius, most of whose work is still relatively unknown."

The general view of Brecht as an unambitious recluse, a status often attributed to Duchamp as well, seems belied in The Brunch Museum project. But Brecht, though a modest, unassuming man, no doubt had had normal hopes for recognition, however complicated by Zen aspirations for acquiescence. We might guess that he was able gradually to embrace such resignation through three successive decades of accelerated creative inactivity. If that's the case, in an uncanny fulfillment of the Brunch Museum work, Brecht has been ironically granted a belated appreciation and discovery by the Museum Ludwig. As its director Kasper Konig says, "It's time George Brecht was given the recognition he deserves as the major modern artist he undoubtedly is."(23)


1. George Brecht Events: A Heterospective. Curators Julia Robinson and Alfred M. Fischer. Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig, Koln, 2005.

2. Ono, Yoko. "Grapefruit." London, Sphere Books Ltd., 1971.

3. Alison Knowles,  "A Great Bear Pamphlet," New York, 1965.

4. Ibid.

5. "Fluxus Etc.", catalogue for exhibition at Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum of the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection, 1981, curator Jon Hendricks, p. 202.

6. Lecture on Dada by Tzara, 1922, reprinted in Robert Motherwell's "Dada Painters and Poets," 1989 (originally published in 1951), p. 92.

7. Jan van der Marck, "George Brecht: An Art of Multiple Implications," Art in America, July-August 1974, p.51.

8. Interview with George Brecht by Irmeline Lebeer, in Henry Martin, "An Introduction to George Brecht's 'Book of the Tumbler on Fire,'" Milan, Multipla, 1978, p. 87.

9. Letter from George Brecht to Jill Johnston, Dec. 19, 1991.

10. "George Brecht, Events," p.306.

11. U.S. censuses, Ancestry.com.

12. Interview with Brecht by Michael Nyman, in Henry Martin, p. 120, footnote 19; see also "George Brecht, Events," p.238.

13. Village Voice, July 2 1964; reprinted in Jill Johnston, "Marmalade Me," New York, Dutton, 1971, pp.73-75.

14. Performance arranged by Larry Miller with Alison Knowles and Eric Andersen and special guest performers Geoff Hendricks, Ben Patterson and Ben Vautier.

15. Interview with Brecht by Henry Martin, in Henry Martin, p.82.

16. "George Brecht, Events," p. 238.

17. Jill Johnston, "Vive George," Village Voice, Aug. 22, 1968.

18. "George Brecht, Events," p. 238.

19. David Revill, "The Roaring Silence," New York, Arcade, 1992, p. 53.

20. Ibid. p. 47.

21. Calvin Tomkins, "The Bride and the Bachelors," New York, Viking, 1965, p. 22.

22. An image of the obituary as printed in the International Herald Tribune, June 10-11, 2000, is reproduced in "George Brecht, Events," p.211.

23. "George Brecht, Events, " p. 8.


©Jill Johnston. Previously published as well on www.jilljohnston.com. To read more about Jill Johnston, please click here. To read more of Jill Johnston on the Dance Insider, click here.

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