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Friday, August 12, 2005

Terry Teachout

As you may have noticed, the only newspaper I read is the Wall Street Journal, and Terry Teachout writes drama reviews for that paper. I just discovered Terry also has an absolutely smashing blog called About Last Night. I sent him a mash note and here's a tiny sample from his blog:
... I ran across this wonderful letter sent to Klemperer by Arnold Schoenberg, who may well have been the most arrogant person who ever lived. "After Klemperer had failed to accept an invitation to visit him," Heyworth writes, "Schoenberg wrote a letter of rebuke." Here it is:

I find it inappropriate that the extent of our meetings should be determined by you… Anyone should consider it a pleasure as well as an honour if I enjoy seeing him often… Do not suppose that I am not aware of the gratitude I owe you for your many successful efforts concerning my material affairs. I am very conscious of that, do not and shall not forget it, and will seize every available opportunity to express my thanks practically. But my sense of order tells me..that every Kulturmensch [that is, "civilized person"] owes me tribute for my cultural achievements.

Isn’t that a hoot?

I'm not sure I've ever met anybody with the nerve to write a letter like that. There's no amount of talent on earth which would justify it. They should have sent him to time-out immediately and not let him come back till he'd improved.

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At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What hubris! To say such things would be bad enough, but to commit such words to paper... and then to mail them! Mind-boggling.

Thanks for the link to Terry Teachout's blog; it's quite fun. I've been reading the ArtsJournal architecture blog by Nancy Levinson; good writing, but much too infrequent posting.


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