Artist as Eccentric? …or…Artist as Courageous?

I am almost finished reading “Wondrous Strange: The Life and Art of Glenn Gould” by Kevin Bazzana. Perhaps not unexpectedly, the word eccentric comes up, and it has given me pause. What is an eccentric; what is it to be eccentric, or to be an eccentric artist? Is it simply a matter of how one chooses to prioritize one’s life? So, in Gould’s case, he seemed to place music before many other things. Is it a matter of degree? Like, spending more time on music than almost anything else? In some ways, eccentricity has a romantic overtone, as opposed to say, some more current clinical diagnoses or labels that we may put upon a person. The label Asperger’s Syndrome has been talked about in reference to Gould. Not sure. Some people read Asperger’s to be more of a community, cultural identity, as in the neuro-diversity movements. It does seem; however, that Gould lead an interesting life, appeared to be eminently Canadian, and followed his musical heart.   In this sense, maybe to be eccentric is to have the courage to follow one’s dream, to live one’s own life.

“Wondrous Strange: The Life and Art of Glenn Gould” at Chapters