Can a "genius" or a "real artist" be a decent pers
Posted 04 August 2005 - 11:23 AM
"The Metropolitan Opera soprano Kathleen Battle, it is said, was riding in a Southern California limousine once upon a time and felt cold. So she cell-phoned her agent in New York and ordered him to call the driver and tell him to turn down the air conditioning.
On another occasion, she is reported to have called the management of the Boston Symphony Orchestra to complain that her hotel's room service had put peas in her pasta.
It's said that she once held up the release of a record for six months because she didn't like the way her breasts looked in the jacket photo."
She MUST be crazy because PEAS are magnificent!
I think Leigh chose the wrong word here in this thread, it should be can a "genius" or "real artist" be a "normal" person.
The most normal genius I know of in arts history was JS Bach. Are there some others?
Posted 04 August 2005 - 02:41 PM
I also think there is a big difference between genius (by definition not a normal person) and a real artist. A genius comes along once or twice in a generation and changes -- forever -- their field of endeavor.
It should be noted that mediocrities often lack manners, too. Although, as dirac pointed out, they are more likely to be discouraged when their tantrums backfire. It's been my experience that people who are secure in their position generally treat others civilly. The insecure are the ones who seem to expect others to bow to their irrational whims. Not a hard and fast rule, but in general.
Posted 05 August 2005 - 06:41 AM
carbro, on Aug 4 2005, 05:41 PM, said:
When I think of a nice-guy, albeit small-A, artist, I think of Bruce Springsteen.
Posted 08 August 2005 - 11:23 AM
Battle’s problems, from what one reads, went way beyond the customary Don’t You Know I’m A Star behavior. It’s too bad.
Posted 09 August 2005 - 01:10 PM
Regarding Kathleen Battle; she was Battle but her voice was unbelievably beautiful...I remember her Zerlina from the 1987 Karajan recording of Don Giovanni and certain phrases she sang in the recitatives have stuck in my mind because the sound her voice made was so extraordinarily touching. Ideally a good musician is not to be too much affected by timbre alone!
Posted 09 August 2005 - 03:04 PM
I admit, though, I can't listen or watch now without thinking of the personality problems that surfaced later. And that's sad.
Posted 09 August 2005 - 03:48 PM
I've never thought Battle had much artistic range, which is why it has always surprised me that her ego was tolerated as long as it was.
Posted 09 August 2005 - 03:57 PM
Interesting point about Ameling's voice type, Helene. I never thought of the connection, but I guess it's no coincidence that Ameling was one the few singers whose lieder/aria recitals I tried never to miss when I lived in NYC.
Posted 09 August 2005 - 04:05 PM
PetipaFan, on Aug 9 2005, 04:10 PM, said:
To get at least part way back to Leigh's original question, if we agree that artistic genius -- that great art -- by definition touches both body and mind, it's of course all the more remarkable that artistic talent and vision of a high order is so often acccompanied by narcissism. How can people capable of deep feeling, and thus of deep emotional suffering, be so callous as to inflict it on others? A far too simple question, probably.
Anyhow, Czeslaw Milosz, whose poetry I've come to love in the year since his death, at least acknowledged that in his devotion to his art, and in his ambition, he hurt those around him. Contrast that with another pop artists whom I won't name, often called a genius, who could ask bluntly, "when I am in the darkness, why must you intrude?"
Posted 09 August 2005 - 04:33 PM
Staying with the matter of topic discipline we don't want to turn this into the Battle thread. (I agree with you, though, bart.)
It’s a very good question. I'd suggest that a genius is, finally, human and subject to all the ordinary human failings. And once you are acknowledged, even if only by a few, as a genius, and therefore special, you become a “star” of sorts and hence inclined to the kinds of self-centered behavior that characterizes all stars, even those who, well, aren’t even that talented.
Posted 09 August 2005 - 05:02 PM
dirac, on Aug 9 2005, 08:33 PM, said:
It's one thing to feel deeply one's OWN suffering -- or even to capture and project it on others for the purposes of art.
But it's quite another thing to care about (and participate in) the way other people feel.
Posted 10 August 2005 - 08:12 AM
Posted 10 August 2005 - 08:25 AM
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