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Extraordinary Canadians Glenn Gould [Hardcover]

Mark Kingwell
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 26.00
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Book Description

Sept. 22 2009

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.

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Extraordinary Canadians Glenn Gould + Extraordinary Canadians: Big Bear + Extraordinary Canadians: Pierre Elliott Trudeau: A Penguin Lives Biography
Price For All Three: CDN$ 48.90

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About the Author

Philosopher and critic MARK KINGWELL is the author of seven books, including the national bestsellers Better Living and The World We Want as well as, most recently, Concrete Reveries and Catch and Release. 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 and The Globe and Mail, among others. Concrete Reveries was nominated for the 2008 Writer's Trust Non-Fiction Prize. He has also won the 1996 Spitz Prize for political theory and the 2002 National Magazine Award for essays.

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Musings not Music Nov. 10 2009
By Gordon Ritchie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for someone who wants to know all about Mark Kingswell's erudite views on life and philosopy. It is virtually useless for someone who wants to know more about Glenn Gould. Perhaps that is as it should be. After all, it would be extraordinarily difficult to capture in words the magic of one of the great pianists and musicologists of our times. Kingswell does not even try. A major disappointment in an otherwise remarkable series of monographs on aptly titled Extraordinary Canadians.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary! Oct. 19 2009
I have really enjoyed the Extraordinary Canadians series, and this one, is one of my favourites.

This one really s more of a meditation on the idea of a biography than the others, and is probably the most dense in the series. Not a big surprise coming from a philosopher.

I thought it dealt with a difficult and intriguing character in a novel way and provided a lot of insight into the enduring appeal of Glenn Gould.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting (except the huge mistake) Oct. 30 2009
By Stefy
Although it is surely an interesting philosophical reading on the many facets of the subject the huge "ice cold water" mistake should have been caught at least by the editor.
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