Sunday, March 15, 2020

the last book I ever read (Cabbagetown by Hugh Garner, excerpt seven)

from Cabbagetown by Hugh Garner:

The little old man smiled a nostalgic smile, then looked up as if he had just reminded himself that Theodore sat before him. “Go to Chicago, Mr. East. Go anywhere you wish, but leave your music at home. Restless youth and music don’t mix; it is only when the musician has mastered his instrument that he can afford other things. Stay here and study piano. Work hard at it. If it is other things you need, go into the streets on Saturday night and find them. But do not try to mix the two.”

“I didn’t want to go there for those reasons, Professor. It’s just that I want to devote all my time to—to my art.”

“Art!” The little man swung himself around in a circle on the stool. “Mr. East, please don’t speak of art until you are at first a craftsman. When you are an artist you will no longer be my pupil. Right now you are—“ He stared into Theodore’s face and shrugged. “You are a pianist of sorts, that is all.” He jumped down from the stool and walked over to Theodore and patted his shoulder. “Next Thursday, Mr. East, unless you have gone to Chicago.”

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