“Find What You Love And Let It Kill You”

Admittedly I went a little extreme – no income for five years, six hours a day of intense practice, monthly four-day long lessons with a brilliant and psychopathic teacher in Verona, a hunger for something that was so necessary it cost me my marriage, nine months in a mental hospital, most of my dignity and about 35lbs in weight. And the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is not perhaps the Disney ending I’d envisaged as I lay in bed aged 10 listening to Horowitz devouring Rachmaninov at Carnegie Hall.

Concert pianist James Rhodes followed Charles Bukowski’s “find what you love and let it kill you” advice nearly to heart, and eventually signed a deal with Warner Bros. Records and is touring the world. He is one of the lucky ones! Hard work can pay off into something extraordinary, but it doesn’t for everyone.

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6 Comments / Post A Comment

ellabella (#1,480)

There is so much bullshit in this.

1) Not everyone can function on 6 hours of sleep.
2) Commuting to and from work apparently takes no time in Rhodes’ fantasyland.
3) “Four hours will amply cover picking the kids up, cleaning the flat, eating, washing and the various etceteras.” Apparently despite having no income you’ll have someone to care for your children for the hours they’re not at school or asleep.
4) How does he assume that a £70/month gym membership will make everyone feel “fat, guilty, and a world away from the man your wife married” rather than keeping you healthy and staving of depression?
5) Where did his money for those 5 years come from? If he wasn’t working, shouldn’t he, by his math, have had more than 6 hours a day to practice anyway?
6) Since when is losing your marriage and sanity something to aspire to?

Ugh. The Guardian.

maddog (#1,935)

@ellabella Yeah, the way parenting was represented in this (and the fact that the whole thing was about following freaking BUKOWSKI’S advice) reallllly feel like this was dude-centric (or least, a specific-kind-of-dude-centric) advice.

The kids thing only works if you have someone (read: a woman) watching and raising your kids, either because you are paying her to or because you are married to her and she is sacrificing her suicidal creativity to care for your family.

@maddog I know, right? I wouldn’t go to Bukowski for life-guidance.

@ellabella I feel like it’s an example of the really weird Randian kind of self-interest, where you’re super-proud of yourself for achieving something and lifesplain to everybody else about how they could only do it if they tried, while ignoring the (in this case, social) infrastructure that makes it possible for you to do it.

@SarcasticFringehead ha! lifesplain. Perfect word for this.

readyornot (#816)

Not sure I love this guy, but man do I relate to being a 10 year old piano student all wrapped up in Horowitz playing Rachmaninov at Carnegie Hall.

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