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GG: Private Life

Dear f_minor members,

I guess I feel compelled to add a bit to the 'Private Life' thread.  Awhile
ago I came to my own conclusion about this issue.
I think we've all come to our different understandings of Gould,
particularly his 'ordinariness' vs. seemingly disporportionate 'oddness',
and the reason for the disparity.  It seems to me that extraordinary talent
was at the core of his being--in fact from a very young age he seems to
have built his life around it.  So to me the rest of his life seems to have
been a constant struggle between an all-consuming devotion to that talent,
and his need to reconcile that devotion with his own humanity.  He seems to
have had a number of habits we wouldn't consider 'normal'--the touch thing,
the pills, needing hats and scarves even in very warm weather, etc.  To me
these things seem to be manifestations of his instinct that he had to
protect himself, and his 'extraordinariness' as a musician.  I believe the
pills, and everything else, in fact, were his personal form of preventive
medicine.   He seemed to be saying with much of his life, "This is how I
need to be in order to do what I'm capable of".
I believe his private life must have also fallen into this category.  My
guess is he wanted someone-that's human-but to reconcile himself AS HE WAS
with another person must have been at least difficult.  Probably not the
kind of information he would have wanted disseminated publicly.  I don't
know whether we're all better or worse for the 'mysteriousness' in the
Friedrich book or 32SF, but my guess is the overriding motivation in the
writers was to preserve that privacy--in effect, to do what he would have
wished.  I can't pretend to know what he was thinking/would have thought,
obviously; but from the evidence presented by the whole rest of his life,
or what I know of it, that's the conclusion I've come to.
I was in Toronto two years ago and I came across the Kadzin book in a
library up there, and I of course perused it and found out many of the
strange and unflattering things Kadzin said about him, including everyone
he imagined Gould could have known in a romantic context.  I had been
curious, of course, and in that way found some of the information
gratifying.  But my overwhelming feeling was MORE confusion, really; and
the sadness that Gould would have been horrified at the publication of this
information (if it is indeed true). The only conclusion I was able to come
to was that all of this information is beside the point anyway--if he did
offer any of himself to all of us, it was 'what I'm capable of', not 'how I
Certainly we all make decisions about how much we want/need to know about
Gould's private life, I'm sure the majority of us have had at least a bit
of curiosity about information not readily available.  But my own
experience with this kind of investigation is that I really found no
'answers' in his personal life. I think if one wishes for an 'answer', and
there is indeed one to be found, it is probably in his music.

Veronica Xavier