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In The Peter Ostwald’S Novel, “Glenn Gould: The Ecstasy

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In the Peter Ostwald’s novel, “Glenn Gould: The Ecstasy and Tragedy of Genius,” the author tells a story of a very successful pianist named Glenn Gould. Glenn was born to mother, Florence Emma Gould, and father, Russel Herbert Gould, on September 25, 1932. Glenn’s mother wanted him to be successful in music and was determined to make him successful before Glenn was even born. Although Glenn did end up becoming very successful, he faced several challenges throughout his life. Just as one over comes their challenges, Glenn also overcame his challenges in his own ways. He used his own defense mechanisms to cope. Some of the challenges that Glenn faced were associated with anxiety. These challenges included Glenn being afraid of performing in…show more content…
91). Taking sedatives became Glenn’s choice and preferred way of maintaining self-control. He also used them to fall asleep because he had insomnia. Even with sedatives, Glenn still felt discomfort when performing because he feared being humiliated. He also feared that listeners at his concerts were out to get him. Due to this fear of being humiliated in front of audiences, Glenn became a perfectionist. He needed every piece that he played to match the “inner model of what it should ideally sound like” (Ostwald, 1997, p.78). He would torture himself until the pieces sounded perfect. This desire of being perfect in all musical aspects soon became a part of who he was. As his career transformed Glenn’s anxiety levels stayed the same, but he shifted his anxiety from one kind of activity to another, such as public concerts and recording sessions. Another challenge that Glenn faced was forming relationships with other people. Growing up Glenn, was “vastly different and ahead of his age group that it was impossible for him to have much in common” (Ostwald, 1997, p.84). Glenn did attract people with his charm and intellect, but he always wanted to be in control. If the friends he made expressed any criticism or viewpoints that Glenn found intolerable, he would end the relationship right then. Glenn functioned better in one-on-one conversations because he would feel edgy and his anxiety would
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