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George Constantinou ID# 0822751

Prof. Carlee Travis

L-PR 1301: Introduction to College Writing

09/24/2017 Phase 1 Exercise 3

Arguments from Gould, Stein and Moore

Glenn Gould writes in his text Lets Ban Applause, But what harmful effect can it

have? someone asks. Everybody knows that artists are incredibly conceited and quite able to

survive the taunts of an impolite laity. Ah, are they indeed? I ask. Or are the absurdly

competitive extravaganzas of our operatic colleagues not the product of, or maybe the antidote

to, the vulgar artistic hostility of those sun-baked societies who have built an operatic tradition in

which their primal instinct for gladiatorial combat has found a more gracious but thinly disguised

sublimation? (p# 247).

That is a strong example of the negative aspects of audiences overreaction and heard-like

behavior to concerts where the purpose of music is to really try and convey a message or a

feeling or just an impression of something that words cannot describe in such a way. And all that

is because of social affectation, and the need that many people have, to just show that they care,

when in reality nothing touches them and they dont even care. These behaviors eradicate the

artistic depth and spiritual experience from the music and turn it into something existing only for

the sake of existence.


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After the audience begins, naturally they create something that is they create you, and so

not everything is so important, something is more important than another thing, which was not

true when you were you that is when you were not you as your little dog knows you. (Gertrude

Stein, What Are Master-Pieces and Why Are There So Few of Them, p#154).

That passage is referring to the most magical moment an audience and an artist can experience.

When nothing has meaning but it means everything. That is the special moment when the piece

of art really speaks and connects with someone, that is when the artists message to the world

doesnt really matter because one is able to manipulate the feelings born from the piece and

create his own meaning. Ones perspective becomes one with the music or the painting or the

text, the piece becomes you and you dont exist the way you did before.

Marianne Moore quotes a comment of Mr. McBride on Rembrandts The Three

Crosses published in the New York Sun, It was as though Rembrandt was talking to himself,

without any expectation that the print would be seen or understood by others. (Feeling and

Precision, p#11). This passage is very important, it relates all three texts and connects the dots

between Gould, Stein and Moore. It combines the thought of Glenn Gould that the music is an

the justification of art is the internal combustion it ignites in the hearts of men... (p# 246) with

the whole concept of Gertrude Steins of what a master-piece really is.

Stein writes that It is not extremely difficult not to have identity but it is extremely difficult the

knowing not having identity. One might say it is impossible but that it is not impossible is proved

by the existence of master-pieces which are just that. They are knowing that there is no identity

and producing while identity is not. (p# 151). So, we see here a realization of the same concept

by Moore and McBride, that the act of creation is at its peak when one is not composing for
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someone elses needs but for ones own pure, emotional expression and that really makes a

difference. And we can further say that in that passage we can find a really strong argument

about arts subjective nature and how every person sees it from ones own perspective and

theres lies the magic of that whole concept of how artists and audiences communicate.