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Dead Diagnoses

April 28, 1985

How could our estimable Los Angeles Philharmonic have been drawn into such an idiotic event as the concert at Royce Hall, May 19, devoted to "composers who suffered from manic-depressive disorders" (see ad, Page 57)?

Aside from the dubious nature of such a condition, I had hoped that psychiatrists had long since given up such "diagnosing" of the helpless dead. Surely someone at the Philharmonic or UCLA must know that the pseudo-romantic belief in a link between artistic creativity and pathology (mental or physical) is without validity.

But much more important: It is just a small step from that idea to the pernicious Nazi slogan entartete Kunst (degenerate or decadent art) to rationalize the destruction of art (and artists) of which the party or state approves.

WINTHROP HOPGOOD

Newport Beach

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