thing becomes confused—it’s wonderful!”nNoise, however, is not the dissolventnjust of power, but also of order. MaxnPicard theorized compellingly in Hitlernin Ourselves that Hider was elevated tonpower mostiy because his was the loudestnscreech in an age submersed in the irrelevancenof noise. Hitler used noise as anpath to power.nIt is telling that Cage denies the existencenof the antidote to noise-, silence.nOne of the central experiences in Cage’snlife was his immersion in an anechoicnchamber where he realized such a thingnas silence literally does not exist: he stillncould hear the blood drumming in hisnears. But the crude physiological silencenhe sought is not the silence of spiritualnmeditation. One hears blood poundingnin one’s ears when one strains to capturenaurally a vacuum. But nature abhors anvacuum. Silence is not empty, it is fiill,ngestational. Its fullness gives forth tonsound. As Picard said, “In the sound itself,nthere is a readiness to be ordered bynthe spirit and this is seen at its most sublimenin music.” Music is felt most keenlynwhen it rises out of silence. The concentratednsilence of a concert audience beforena conductor lifts his baton is not justnsocial convention, it is a sympatheticnanticipation. Cage agrees that silencenis “the world of sounds,” but he deniesnthat this world has any disposition to benordered by the spirit. So he sees tonality asna “waste,” claims that “everything dissonantnI hear as consonant I have not yetnheard a sound that was really unbearable.”n1 conclude with Virgil Thomson thatn”Cage’s aim with music, like Samson’s innthe pagan temple, has long been clearlyndestructive.” There is certainly a poeticnneatness to the feet that such mental disordernresults in such aural disorder. Thatnis a symmetry one can enjoy, however,nonly if one has kept the capacity to distinguishnbetween noise and music, a capacitynlost by those who have elevatednCage to the status of cultural guru. Theynare mesmerized, I suppose, by the yawningnnothingness to which his noise leadsnthem, or perhaps they are entranced bynhis exotic brand of nihilism. His is then44inChronicles of Colturenmusic of the last man, a fitting requiemnfor any society that accepts the ideas fromnwhich his cacophony emerges.nIt may be unfeshionable to changenfrom the I-ching to the New Testament,nbut one refreshing line of clarity from St.nPaul’s First Episde to the Corinthians providesnthe needed antidote to the gobbledygooknof For the Birds. St. Paul spoke ofnLiars & MagiciansnJohn A. Kouwenhoven: Haifa TruthnIs Better Than None: Some UnsystematicnConjectures about Art, Disorder,nand American Experience;nUniversity of Chio^o Press; Chicago.nThe Forger’s Art: Forgery & tije Philosophynof Art; Edited by Denis Dutton;nUniversity of California Press;nBerkeley.nby Stephen MacaulaynHalf a truth is better than none. Sonproclaims John A. Kouwenhoven, presumablynto contradict or to at least callninto question Ben Franklin’s “Half thenTruth is often a great Lie” {Poor Richard’snAlmanack, July 1758). Kouwenhovennwrites about representations: photographsnand mechanical designs, for thenmost part. Photographs, of course, aren’tnthe things that they represent. A photographnis an abstraction: salient characteristicsnof the object(s) are captured bynthe photographic equipment. An actualnmachine—a railroad train engine, fornexample—is an abstraction of what thenoriginal designer put dovwi with pencilnand ink on paper. Admittedly, these halftruthsnare better than none; assumingnthat no misrepresentation is involvedn(i.e., someone doesn’t pass off his worknas that of another), these half-truthsnprobably aren’t lies. Kouwenhoven is anAIMnnnthe disadvantage of speaking in tongues,nusing the analogy of music: “And evennthings without life giving sound, whethernpipe or harp, except they give a distinctionnin the sounds, how shall it be knownnwhat is piped or harped?… I had rathernspeak five words with my understanding,nthat by my voice I might teach othersnalso, than ten thousand words in an unknownntongue.” Dnproponent of things like photographsnand mechanical designs. The latter henterms an example of “vernacular design,”nwhich has been a topic of his for overnfour decades. “The arts” as most knownthem from publications and museumsnare, to Kouwenhoven, merely a categorynthat indicates a pernicious bias, a hangovernfrom the western European tradition.nHe says that Americans should looknto the artifacts around them, which representn”an art resulting from the effortsnof ordinary people to make satisfyingnpatterns and designs out of the novelnelements introduced into their environmentnby democracy and the machine.”n”Art” becomes watered down throughnthis approach; too many things—^fromnfemily snapshots to door frames—cannqualify. The more the merrier, it seems.nInterestingly, there is one area aboutnxdiich Kouwenhoven would say “Half thenTruth is often a great Lie”: literary translation.nHe’ll take them or leave them—nand more often the latter. While hendoesn’t admit it to be the case, it is probablynbecause he is the sort of person whonunthinkingly afiixes a “Buy American”nbumper sticker on his Dodge Colt.n”Mind your own business” is the impliednadmonition.nThe immediate question that loomsnabout translation is this: Is a translatedncopy something difierent from the original?nFrom a purely rational perspective,nthe answer can only he yes Flaubert, fornexample, wrote in French, not English;ntherefore, a Penguin edition of Madamen