Saturday, January 9, 2016

Letters home

Can I say something about George's hand? How can you stop me? It's my blog, and I'll go on about it if I want to. I have no special skills in analyzing handwriting, but I do pick up vibes from it, some of them distressingly negative. But I love this guy's handwriting, it's the writing of someone I'd like to meet. There is an optimism and freshness and energy about it, but at the same time, a diligence, even a neatness and precision interspersed with a few artistic flourishes in the capitols. It seems to surge forward bravely and even eagerly, and chimes in a way that's quite palpable even after all these years. It's friendly stuff. Does it reflect any of his complicated, paradoxical nature? No. It doesn't. Maybe biographers have pushed that pedal a little too hard over the years. A genius doesn't have to strain and labour to be a genius. In my long and tumultuous exploration of Gershwiniana (too many syllables, there), I've compared him again and again to Mozart, so lavishly, naturally gifted that it seemed almost supernatural. GG did not come from a music family - at all. They were tradesmen and furriers and even bookies and borderline crooks. He was, as they used to say, "a hop out of kin". But his hand is refreshingly normal, eager, with a kind of upward sweep and a let's-get-going that does seem to be reflective of his biographical self. Which makes his death that much more horrible. Come right in, George, I want to talk to you.


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