Sentences to ponder

Natasha later said she saw nothing strange in a musician’s ability to express emotions she has not experienced. “Had I experienced them, that wouldn’t necessarily help me to express them better in my music. I’m an actress, not a character; my job is to represent something, not to live it. Chopin wrote a mazurka, Person X in the audience wants to hear the mazurka and so I have to decipher the score and make it apprehensible to Person X, and it’s really hard to do. But it has nothing to do with my life experience.”

Here is more, from Andrew Solomon, mostly about prodigies, interesting throughout.  I also like this bit:

…Marc sat on a phone book on the piano bench so his hands would be high enough to play comfortably and launched into Chopin’s “Fantasie-Impromptu,” which he imbued with a quality of nuanced yearning that seemed almost inconceivable in someone with a shelf of Cookie Monster videos.


I would have picked this excerpt:

"The parents of children with disabilities must be educated to see the identity within a perceived illness, but the parents of prodigies are confronted with an identity and must be educated to recognize the prospect of illness within it."

Also kudos to the author for noting the continuum (or spectrum) that underlies our cognitive styles and skills. Some lessons from the extremes may apply quite broadly.

She is the anti-Val Kilmer.

Reminds me of Douglas Hofstadter's point about translation. (In Le Ton Beau de Marot?)

Why is a pianist typically billed in a much larger font than the composer(s), yet a novel's translator is either shown in a much smaller font or is not on the cover at all? However much creative work one believes that a pianist adds to a work, it cannot remotely compare with that of a translator.

read the article, which was well written, I guess, but disappointing. Author showed, in my opinion, little respect for the divinely inspired nature of real art, and focused on the relatively trivial nature of differential educational rates of the way-above-average gifted. He also unfairly repeated what I believe to be unrealistic prejudices, based on unthinking envy, regarding the emotional "shortcomings" of gifted children, and was silent, even in a not-very-short article, about the implications of the fact that the naive belief that childhood prodigies only exist in certain limited fields is so widespread. Still, a better than average discussion of the subject and I bet this was not one of the author's best efforts.

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