Spring 1959 • Vol. XXI No. 2 Fiction |

The Assessment of an Amateur

I stopped drawing large drafts on my future when I was just sily of thirty--tlhe usual age, I think, for those with the artistic temperament; for that, I suppose, is what I had, a disposition to take the world at the hands of those who'd made some sense out of it. Before my Paris days, however, I did not differentiate my disposition from my talents, and I thought, in what I know is fairly common fashion, that the disposition promised almost anything ambition could imagine. Not in the arts, as a matter of fact, for not even in music--the art which I knew best--did I ever feel that I had either the physical capacity for performance or the sheer mass of technical training necessary for composition. Nonetheless, it was my accurate if amateur feeling for music which, thought I, augured well for brilliance in some lesser field. It was going over on the boat that I met the real instructor of those years, the pianist, Dave Higgins, whose name you probably know if you are as up in music n

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