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Subject: Re: Albert, once again
From: Bob Kosovsky <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Kosovsky <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:53:11 -0400

text/plain (62 lines)

> Those who wish
> to trivialize Albert's hateful behavior are more than free to do
> so. And, though you (plural) will certainly not care a whit, your
> acceptance of his cruelty...

For approximately five months, Albert would email me the most vile and
disgusting insults he could imagine, often describing sexual anatomy (and
actions related to them) and mixing it up with what he presumed were
aspects of my character and person.  Every day.  Five months.

Then he began to let up - it was only 2-3 times a week for another few
months - I think for about eight months total. It got to be that I
recognized why Albert never achieved greatness - he was too busy being
angry, letting his demons take over.

At first it was really difficult withstanding this barrage (I must mention
Richard Slade's most welcome visit at the height of this).  At the very
least it made me much stronger in withstanding insults and slights from
people.  Perhaps it made me more cynical as well.

On a few occasions, Albert would expound on topics on which I am very
familiar.  I came to recognize his technique:  He would bring up a topic
with a few choice bits of originality, and then would embroider it with
riffing and bullshit but with language that sounded so erudite that one
could mistake it for being morsels of brilliance.  A few kernels
surrounded by supporting information that anyone could find out if they
simply read sources.  (And you could tell that Albert's sources generally
ended in the 1970s; he was often not informed on research of the past
10-20 years.)

After a few years of quiet, Albert approached me with a gentler tone, even
asking me a few favors - which I did grant when I was able.

My long-term interactions with Albert made me re-examine the Wagner
problem - does genius mitigate the horrible acts done by a person?  I have
to say: absolutely not.

You are all welcome to believe that he made your lives better by reading
his words, but I hope you all realize the extreme hate and pain he
unleashed on many.  You can be thankful that you were not recipients, but
recognition and understanding of what many of us endured should not be

Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
blog:   Twitter: @kos2
Listowner: OPERA-L ; EXLIBRIS-L ; SMT-ANNOUNCE ; SoundForge-users
-- My opinions do not necessarily represent those of my institutions --

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