Tuesday, May 5, 2009

John Cage and Dr. Suzuki: no one wins

An Indian lady invited me to dinner and said Dr.
Suzuki would be there. He was.
Before dinner I mentioned Gertrude Stein.
Dr. Suzuki had never heard of her. I
described aspects of her work, which he said sounded
very interesting. Stimulated, I mentioned
James Joyce, whose name was also new to him.
At dinner he was unable to eat the curries
that were offered, so a few uncooked
vegetables and fruits were brought, which
he enjoyed. After dinner the talk turned
to metaphysical problems, and there were
many questions, for the hostess was a
follower of a certain Indian yogi and her
guests were more or less equally divided
between allegiance to Indian thought and to
Japanese thought. About eleven
o’clock we were out on the street walking
along, and an American lady said to Dr.
Suzuki, “How is it, Dr. Suzuki?
We spend the evening asking you
questions and nothing is decided.” Dr.
Suzuki smiled and said, “That’s why
I love philosophy: no one wins.”

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