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Re: GG Radio documentaries a failure?

From: Megan, Anne and Ken <smithqa@nexicom.net>

Dear F minors,

>I know that many of you belong to the Glenn Gould Foundation.  You should
>have received the Gould Standard yesterday.  I was puzzled by some of the
>things that Michael Tait said in his Letter to the Editor.  If  Mr Tait is
on this
>list I would like him to explain his 6th point.  Perhaps some of you will
>an opinion on this.

Anne, you must be psychic! I was going to comment on that. Radio waves?!

>"6. His radio documentaries were interesting failures.  A fugue of words,
>because of their denotative content, results in confusion and mess in
>contrast to a fugue of pure sounds."

I didn't get the impression that Mr. Tait was talking about the radio
documentaries in a commercial sense. Rather that he was talking about the
radio documentaries in an artistic sense.

Maybe Mr. Tait is trying to hear all the words. This was discussed recently
on this very list. If you do that, the results are confusing. Heck, even if
you don't try to hear all the words, the results are confusing. :-> But you
can say the same about a lot of the most highly praised novels of this
century. I think the radio documentaries are very demanding, but they are
still easier to grasp than some famous experimental novels.

And I agree with something Mary Jo said at the Gathering. I *did* learn
more about counterpoint after listening to "The Solitude Trilogy."

Maybe somebody should put together a "user's guide" to the radio
documentaries. With tips on how to get the most out of the work.

And while we're here, I must comment on Mr. Tait's remark about Glenn
Gould's humor. He said that "To call his sense of humour sophomoric would
be to insult sophomores everywhere." Well, OK, GG's sense of humor, or
humour, was goofy and childlike. You mean there's, like, something wrong
with that? :->

As far as GG's writing style goes... Yes, he did need a good editor. (I'm
an editor, so I know.) On the other hand, I think the writing style gives a
great clue to the way his brain worked. And worked and worked. My mother
read one of his sentences and said, "He wrote like he played." I was
watching the interview at the beginning of the Goldberg Variations video
recently, and as always, I was amazed by that Sentence without End. Sure,
that sentence was too long and winding. Sure, he probably wrote it out
weeks ahead of time. But it's still amazing and fascinating to watch.

A lot of the complaints about GG in the editorial are about things that I'm
sure GG couldn't change. Whether he had Asperger's or not, he simply came
this way. When I read the biography of any famous person, I always find
myself feeling regret at some of the things that person did, or didn't do.
(Yes, I know that's a waste of time, but maybe it's the novelist in me.
:->) But I feel that you also have to accept that people are different, and
some people are *very* different. Either born different or made different.
Sometimes, those differences manifest themselves in tragic ways.
Criticizing famous people for things they could not help is an exercise in
futility. Sometimes, you just have to accept that people lead their own
lives, for good and for bad.

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