Edward Said’s music criticism showcases his obsessions.

Right up until his untimely death in 2003, Edward Said was writing On Late Style, in which he examined later works by the likes of Beethoven and Thomas Mann and uncovered their “intransigence, difficulty, and unresolved contradictions.” That book was published in 2006; this new collection of his music criticism for The Nation provides the perfect backdrop to his own late preoccupation. The pieces span 30 years and tend, as you might guess, toward the intellectual. We’re especially fascinated by his obsession with pianist Glenn Gould, whom, as Said’s wife writes in the preface, “Edward seemed unable to let go of.”

Music at the Limits

Edward W. Said

Columbia University Press