I Don’t Want to See the Artist Behind the Curtain

Most of the time I’d prefer to know as little as possible about the artist behind a work of art, although that is the opposite of how our society operates currently. We seem to want to know everything.

It’s just too dangerous. I find out the person is a jerk and it spoils my complete enjoyment. One of my favorite books, A Winter’s Tale, was written by a very politically conservative writer named Mark Helprin. I’m not anti-conservative, so this doesn’t have to be a problem for me, but I’ve read various essays and posts of his over the years, and he comes off pretty hateful sometimes. While he will often say something thoughtful within the hateful posts, he can be a complete ass and I’ve had a enough of hate for one lifetime and I need to limit my exposure.

There’s a new Mark Helprin book out, and I want to read it, and I will probably read it, but I can’t help wishing I didn’t know how hateful he can be. (For the record, some hate is okay. I get that intense sometimes too.)

Here’s a piece of music where the composer took data from the Higgs Boson data and interpreted it musically. Along similar lines, aside from how fun that idea is, I was wondering whether or not it matters that I knew that. Does it give me a deeper understand of the music? I wonder if the music somehow provides a deeper or different understanding of the science?

The Village Cigar store, which I pass by practically every day.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Want to See the Artist Behind the Curtain

  1. The very first Live From Lincoln Center show they ever did on PBS, back in the 60s I think, was from Philharmonic Hall (now Avery Fisher). They showed Leonard Bernstein backstage during intermission. What did he have to say for himself? “Wow! I’m all sweated up!” (as he dabbed his drenched forehead with his handkerchief). Ever since then, I’ve really felt like I REALLY don’t need to know this stuff.

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