Saturday, June 9, 2012

Nothing and Everything: The Influence of Buddhism on the American Avant Garde 1942 – 1962

With over 350 million Buddhists worldwide, Buddhism in America is no longer a marginal religion—it is currently the fourth largest belief system in the country. Nothing and Everything – The Influence of Buddhism on the American Avant Garde: 1942–1962 is the first book to thoroughly investigate the impact of Buddhism on post-war American culture, particularly on performing, visual, sonic, inter-media and literary arts in the country’s cultural hub of New York City.
In America in the late 1950s and early 60s, the world—and life itself—became a legitimate artist’s tool, aligning with Zen Buddhism’s emphasis on “enlightenment at any moment” and living in the now. Simultaneously and independently, parallel movements were occurring in Japan, as artists
there, too, strove to break down artistic boundaries....

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