And so, I’ve become whole-heartedly obsessed with Glenn Gould through my act of reading books and essays — both primary and secondary — about the pianist, and listening to his very fine music, which has begun to quasi-crypto-change my thoughts on iPods, iTunes, and all things iRelated-to-Technology.
Stephen Dixon‘s Gould and 30 Pieces of a Novel (Buy them. Now.) are somewhat based on the great Canadian musician. Gould‘s protagonist is serendipitously and eponymously named Gould — after the pianist — while 30 Pieces of a Novel‘s structure is meant to mirror the 30 parts to the Goldberg Variations — Glenn Gould’s most famous recorded performance. I’ve also been reading Thomas Bernard‘s The Loser, a novel told in one long paragraph about two piano students (one eventually kills himself, the other suffers the rest of his days in a dilapidated [physically, mentally, the novel is his rambling narrative as he enters an Austrian Inn] state of artistic inadequacy) who studied with Glenn Gould.
To this day, Stephen Dixon touch-types his novels on an old typewriter. He writes every day after he had taken care of his wife — stricken with MS and bound to a wheelchair, who succumbed to the disease over the summer. Both Thomas Bernard and Glenn Gould are now dead. They died very young, 58 and 50 years old, respectively. Continue reading