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peculiar ways of living

One might define a person with serious mental disorders, such as
schizophrenia, as one who perceives and reacts in strange ways, evidences
peculiar causal and categorical associations, and generally doesn't live up
to community standards of behaviour. Viewing a condition or "disease" as
abnormal or normal is  a matter of contextualized cultural judgment. There
are massive numbers of interacting components in a person's embedded life
instincts mechanisms to reach an equilibrium state, which, while it
changes, does so in a generally oscillating fashion that can be described
from a sufficiently external perspective. In this sense, "illness" of a
mental or physical, biological or genetic sort, even if it doesn't match
the majority's behaviour by far, can be viewed as natural or normal and can
be seen to have a function within a higher order.

Labelling it "normal" or not brings us no closer to understanding
fundamentally what is going on in those people -and ultimately in us- whose
behaviours are such that we apply the category of mental disorder to them.
We should be asking what is there in the behaviour of some people that
makes us want to place them together in a diagnostic category, and second,
what, if anything, in their socio-cultural contexts makes this
categorization possible. Maybe it is because we, 'the normals', are afraid
of interpreting reality in the 'wrong' way?

I just wanted to point out that it is irrelevant what kind of label we want
to apply to GG. It is meaningless. Anyway, almost by definition, a 'genius'
as described by Marcos, must have, lets say, a different type of
consciousness, being the result a radically different interpretation of
reality, this is ultimately referred to as a mental disorder by the
experts. I'm not an expert, maybe a psycho-something- [not pejorative:),
its just that there are so many specialities!] in the list would like to
elaborate more about this?
 "The ideally lucid, hence ideally normal, man should have no recourse     
 beyond the nothing that is in him".                                       
 E.M. Cioran                                                               



Legal Notice: This mail is intended for anyone, any proceedings against me
can use as evidence the contents of this mail. I promise I'll declare
myself guilty of any criminal charges that may arise as a result of its
contents. I'd rather go to jail than pay a lawyer in the USA. I'm happy to
know the legal system works so well over there, especially considering that
it costs more than the total GDP of some countries.

|        |          Stephen Rieck     |
|        |          <stephenrieck1@sym|
|        |          patico.ca>        |
|        |                            |
|        |          04/03/00 07:39 AM |
|        |                            |
  |                                                                       |
  |       To:     Marcos Maffei <mmaffei@uol.com.br>                      |
  |       cc:     f_minor@email.rutgers.edu, (bcc: FLAVIO GRAF/CUSOM)     |
  |       Subject:     Re: no, not that syndrome again!                   |

Diagnosing "genius" as you have with specific examples, is personal
The label does not change enrichment in the lives of those with different
opinions and/or labels.
Medical science is endevouring to *understand* and raise quality of life,
not degrade humanity through its work. Any perspective that may shed new
appreciation of the life and work of GG is something I personally (as a
non-conforming musical barbarian) want to hear about on this fine List. You
just keep posting whatever you wish, Anne Marble, and pay no regard to
who want you to conform to unenlightened disregard for possible new
- Stephen Rieck (Visigoth Central Intelligence Agency, Canadian Office)

PS: nice site, Mr. Elevator :-)

Marcos Maffei wrote:

> O come on, Anne
> from your posts I deemed you a rather sensible, reasonable person.
> Please, would you try to stop thinking that GG had any mental disorder
> other than simply being who he was? A highly talented, enormously gifted
> boy who also had the rare (and lucky thing too, that he was born in
> Canada and not in this hell of conformity, the USA) chance of being
> indulged to be what he wanted to be by his parents, no matter how odd he
> turned out to be?
> And, yeah, odd he was; and no wonder, because he was also a genius (and
> I don
?t use this word unsparingly; for me only very few deserve it, a
> dozen or so: Leonardo, perhaps Monteverdi, Shakespeare, Bach, perhaps
> Rembrandt, ...and, coming to this (or the past) century, almost surely
> Stravinski, undoubtely Picasso (even if I dislike most of his
> paintings), and... Rauschenberg - by this list, you?d be right to
> suppose that I have a theory about what a ...genius... is; in a
> nutshell, this is it: a genius is a person for whom it is
> preternaturally easy to do things that are, for most of the human
> beings, extremely difficult, hard to achieve; but for them, it?s as easy
> as ...rub their heads, or whatever; that?s why Beethoven or Cezanne, for
> instance, don?t qualify in my list; their achievement, enormous as it
> is, was hard-won, painstakingly extracted from what they had at hand,
> and in their minds; think, in contrast, about how easily, wonderfully,
> everything that Bach composed comes with unsurpassable intertwinned
> counterpoint, and what is more, a deeply moving harmonic progression,
> the whole of it strikingly beatiful, meaningful, wow! Or Shakespeare,
> why is he so quotable? Even in his first (and worst) plays, there are
> lines that leave you out of breath, so right they sound, and mean, at
> the same time!!! They surely must hava suffered from some disorder.
> Asperger syndorme or whatever? Or perhaps, another disease will be fuuly
> detected in time; and, properly treated, we?ll be duly rid of another
> Shakespeare, or another Bach, or - thank god - another GG, that strange
> humming creature...
> ...and Anne, have you ever tried to figure what is the life of the
> internationally scheduled virtuoso?
> Tuesday in Budapest, beethoven?s 4. Saturday in Prague, Waldstein, Les
> adieux, Appasionata. Again the same program in Sunday. Then, to Milan
> you go. Meet mr. Maestro (but perhaps you already palyed with him
> ...where? Well, somewhere else.); and Mozart it will be. Cheers from the
> audience. Sidney, now: Scriabin, may be? No, they want to hear this
> Beethoven. You landed there 12 hours ago, a press conference awaits you,
> and... there you are, o what a brave man: the chords that begin the
> Beethoven concerto, ...I?d do my best to hinder, severely, the piano
> (which, usually, is far from what the pianist expects...).
> So, the most offending thing that GG did against the (on going, and
> getting much worse) status quo of  music making, retiring from the
> international concert scene, was and is amongst the most reasonable (and
> indeed, as much of what gg?s done, eerily prophetic) things that any
> musician as gifted as he was (and interested in developing his gift as
> much as he could) could do.
> And, for our infinite, ever-expanding reward, he did.
> Even, and thanks again, outrageously so.
> We should be (and it?s obvious that all in this list are) thankful,
> that he dared to be this GG that we all love to hear.
> So, please, Anne...
> stop thinking that he had a problem, or a disorder. Or whatever.
> We all have, or ..should have.
> And GG has no part in the problem;
> because, most of the times, he just sounds as a part of the solution, or
> some answer, or whatever;
> at least, as an opinion to hear, and what a beautiful comment (humming
> and all) he will forever offer!
> [and for someone who complained about the bach?s sonatas for gamba:
> yeah, how underrated!
> the andante of bwv1028 is... beyond words, Gould gently imposes such an
> overall yearning for... I don?t know what, but... wow!]
> Just listen to the music,
> Anne, and feel free to love it,
> as it flows. Or not, or whatever.
> Marcos
> PS. I read most of what is in the links that you directed us, about the
> so-called Asperger-syndrome. And I found it so dreadful that I was
> ashamed to send my reaction (utterly inscensed that it was: sheer
> bullshit!) to the list, or to you. Please, Anne, think again: it?s no
> syndrome, no disease, indeed nothing at all to be diferent, and much
> less to be unique, singular, or... a Glenn Gould of sorts.
> Just think a little, how it could have been being GG: a grand steinway
> (or more than one, if you please) right ahead of you, and you can just
> sit there and play ...at fisrt sight, whatever you want to play;
> moreover, a record of it can be made almost instantly, and sold
> overworld; and you can record this music exactly the way you want,
> which is not altogethetr absurd, but close to that, and still you can do
> it, and, what's more, you believe that you can prove that, and...
> what's absolutely taht, and more: you do that, and more...
> And there comes Anne,
> saying: you must be sick!
> PPS. Sorry, Anne. But it sounds so like it..