I’ve been doing some research on Tchaikovsky lately — mainly the period in the mid 1870s, which many of his biographers call the “crisis years,” when he was in his mid to late thirties composing Swan Lake among other masterpieces, marrying unsuccessfully, and having a subsequent nervous breakdown. Some biographers accuse others of trying to blacken his name and make him out to be “over-emotional” by “insinuating” that he was gay, which I find interesting that people consider such a suggestion an “insinuation” or an attempt to dirty a reputation, and assume that emotionalism and sexuality have anything to do with each other.
Anyway, here is a paragraph from a 1946 book on him and several other Russian composers by British writer Donald Brook that I find particularly amusing:
“There can be little doubt that if Tchaikovsky had married Desiree Artot (an opera singer who impassioned him), and if she had abandoned her travels and made him a good wife, he could have lived a normal sex-life, for there is every reason to believe that she did attract him physically. In the life of a homosexual there is often one woman who could bring the offender back to the paths of normality, though, alas! he is often unaware of the fact, or never ventures to make the experiment.”
Just shows you how unobjective nonfiction can be. Also, throughout the book, I don’t think I’ve seen so many exclamation points.