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NONFICTION | IN BRIEF

August 18, 1996|Susan Salter Reynolds

GLENN GOULD: Some Portraits of the Artist as a Young Man story and photographs by Jock Carroll (Stoddart: $40, 96 pp.). Glenn Gould recorded the "Goldberg Variations" when he was 23 years old. After his debut in New York, Gould took a vacation in the Bahamas. Jock Carroll was assigned a story on Gould for Weekend magazine, a job he felt bore some resemblance to baby-sitting. His introduction to the photographs has a somewhat amused, paternal tone to it.

In fact, Carroll did not see Gould, who was holed up in his room, for the first several days. Apparently unable to sleep, Gould had pulled the beds together and tried to sleep crosswise on them. The chamber maids were complaining of the crazy man in room 421. "Wherever I travel," Gould told Carroll, "I read the local papers to see how they're dealing with the blacks." Carroll managed to lure Gould down to the beach, fully dressed ("he did remove his raincoat and gloves") but he spent the two weeks reading Turgenev and musical scores by Bach.

"By the time I'm 70," he said, "I'd like to look back on two or three operas, several symphonies, and, of course, a lot of recordings." "Don't tell my mother about me driving too fast," he begged Carroll, "Because she already thinks that."

The photographs are simply gorgeous, revealing that lustrous combination of boy/man in the genius. They make him look sweet, isolated, brave and awkward.

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