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Re: solitude

>From my previous email:

> PS  It occurs to me to wonder how much our perception of Gould's
> emotional states are influenced (maybe subconsciously)  by the many
> photographic images we have of him ? So many portray him as alone, and
> he looks pretty mournful in some!

 and Matthew wrote:

> I disagree. Have you ever seen the earlier photos of him conducting
> away? He seems to me like the happiest person I've ever seen, in a
> blissful state if you will... you can almost see the force of life
> surging through his body and streaking forth out of his fingertips.

Yes, of course.  I agree that many photographs show Gould 's ecstasy.
Equally, many of the later ones (not at the piano, or in the studio) seem to
show him as a loner, with an air of sadness. But I would like to stress that
they only _seem_ to show him in this way .....for how can we tell? A
photograph freezes a single instant of time. The surroundings may be lonely
and bleak,  the sky grey, the place apparently devoid of other human beings.
The subject  who might have been laughing a moment ago, could be caught in a
moment of repose, or thoughtfulness. This could  all be deceptive.   And
Gould's face, in his later years, does ( to me anyway) have an
introspective, even slightly mournful, cast to it.....when he was not
smiling . Thats simply  the way his features were arranged, even if I
personally think he was a good-looking guy.!  The point I was making that
some of these images may make us  perceive  of him as a sad man, even if
this was untrue. I am well aware of his odd sense of humour thiough, and the
Manner in which  he often laughed during interviews. and bubbled with
enthusiasm.... These things belie the notion of the  unhappy loner.

 But a  photograph is after all, the work of on single photographer, who
will show his subject in the manner _he_  personally perceives him.
To try to understand Gould's feelings. listen to his music. The photographs
are fascinating, but the "mood" of them may come  as much from the man
behind the camera, as the guy in front!
> And it's a very big "but". Who are we to judge him by our life, our
> goals, our experiences?

Exactly. Thats the point I was trying to make in my previous post:  We might
think Gould's lifestyle was sad, because we might not relish living that
way. He might be astonished if he could read this ; because for him, it had
everything he needed for his personal happiness.