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GG: Brooding Artists -- Perception versus Reality

Whenever I read some "half-baked" articles about Glenn Gould, I'm struck
about how little the writer knows about GG. Short articles in magazines,
newspapers, and collective biographies often miss the mark. They'll stress
the reclusive, brooding side but miss out on so many other aspects of his
personality. And their comments on the music... (cough, cough) It's clear
they are listening to the "experts" instead of listening to the music. Even
longer works (such as biographies) often dwell too much on "symptom
gathering." Maybe it's "cooler" to write about the brooding guy instead of
pointing out that along with his troubled life, he also had a great sense
of humor, could be very charming, etc. People who actually knew GG often
point out the contrast between the way he is portrayed and the real GG.
You'd think people who write about GG would be fascinated by the contrasts,
but maybe showing all sides of his character doesn't prove their point. Of
course, GG *wanted* everybody to think of him as that brooding grey guy,
but that's another thing...

I was reading an article on British fantasist Mervyn Peake, and I was
struck by similar contrasts in the "image" of the artist versus the
reality. Peake definitely had a troubled life -- he spent much time in
mental hospitals and his life was tragically short by what may have been an
early case of Alzheimer's disease. He is often portrayed as tortured and
brooding. Yet according to people who knew him, he loved children, he was
playful, and he was compassionate. He hated cruelty to children and never
took himself seriously.

Here's a nice set of Peake links:

Here's a link to an abridged article (by writer Michael Moorcock) that
points out these contrasts:

I'll bet other list members can recommend other artists who were, in
reality, nothing like their popular image.

P.S. I haven't read the Gormenghast trilogy yet. Have to be in the right
mood for that one...