EXTRAORDINARY CANADIANS GLENN GOULD
Glenn Gould, one of the world's most renowned classical musicians of the twentieth century, was also known as an eccentric genius—solitary, headstrong, a hypochondriac virtuoso. Abandoning stage performances in 1964, Gould concentrated instead on mastering the various media: recordings, radio, television, and print. His sudden death at age fifty stunned the world, but his music and legacy continue to inspire. Philosopher and critic Mark Kingwell regards Gould as a philosopher of music whose ideas about music governed his life. But those ideas were contradictory, mischievous, and deliberately provocative. Instead of a single narrative line to explain the musician, Kingwell adopts a kaleidoscopic approach. Just as Gould played twenty-one "takes" to record the opening aria in the famed 1955 Goldberg Variations, Kingwell offers twenty-one "takes" on Gould's life. Each version offers a different interpretation of the man, but in each, Kingwell is sensitive to the complex harmonies and dissonances that sounded throughout the life of the great Gould.
Philosopher and critic Mark Kingwell is the author of seven previous books, including the national bestsellers Better Living and The World We Want; also, most recently Catch & Release: Trout Fishing and the Meaning of Life. Currently professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, he is a contributing editor of Harper's Magazine and a frequent contributor to Queen's Quarterly, Toro, and The Globe and Mail, among others. He has won many awards for his writing, including the 1996 Spitz Prize for political theory and the 2002 National Magazine Award for essays. Nothing for Granted is based on his work as a political columnist for the National Post between 2000 and 2003.