Lankester Indian Summer Zoom AM

There is an intriguing phenomenon in music and in all the arts – an extraordinary burst of creative genius late in life when a composer, artist, poet, author, scientist, etc, produces not only their greatest works but also a magical change of style. Edward Said, in his final book, called it ‘Late Style’; metaphorically speaking it is known as an ‘Indian Summer’. Whether it is Jean Philippe Rameau writing his last opera at the age of seventy-seven, or Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’ written in the last year of his life at age 35, the result is the same. Michelangelo’s ‘Last Judgement’, Monet’s Water Lilies, Jane Eyre’s ‘Wuthering Heights’, James Joyce’s ‘Finnegans Wake’, Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, Beethoven’s Late String Quartets, Verdi’s ‘Otello’ and ‘Falstaff’, Mahler’s unfinished Tenth Symphony, Glenn Gould’s last recordings, Fermat’s Last Theorem, or Einstein’s searching for a Unified Theory of the Universe, the list is endless…

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