Beethoven and His Forerunners

Beethoven and His Forerunners

Beethoven and His Forerunners

Beethoven and His Forerunners

Excerpt

How does the personality of Beethoven, one of the most complex and paradoxical in the whole history of art, appear to the best-informed opinion of our time? The question is interesting not only in itself, but for its bearings on art and artists in general. And since the psychological discoveries of Freud and the biographical innovations of Strachey, we may be supposed in all modesty to be in somewhat better position to answer it than our fathers were. We can hardly any longer consider credible, for instance, the kind of super-being, half saint, half hero, that the older school of sentimental biographers, such as Romain Rolland and to some extent Vincent d'Indy, liked to make him out, following the poets who began sonnets with his surname (accenting the second syllable) and the painters . . .

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