Friday, 16 May 2014

The world's greatest juggler

The subtitle to this article is "Why did Anthony Gatto, the greatest juggler alive — and perhaps of all time — back away from his art to open a construction business?" It's a good read and I recommend it.

The piece prompts some rather Elegy-in-a-Country-Churchyard-ish thoughts. Mr Gatto, by means of a great deal of effort since childhood, and no doubt immense native talent too, has become perhaps the greatest juggler who has ever lived. He is to juggling what Bradman is to cricket or Tiger Woods to golf. His standing in the world of juggling is higher than Picasso's in painting or Pavarotti's in opera. And yet being the greatest juggler ever amounts to, well, what?

There's no real reason (is there?) why juggling ranks below other entertainments like acting, singing or telling jokes - but this man doesn't have the fame or fortune of Bob Hoskins, Bono of Jimmy Carr. If, when we are all dead, all the money flows from golf, pop songs and Damian Hirst spot-paintings to juggling instead, would Mr Gatto be a mute inglorious Miltonm (or almost, saved by what remains on YouTube)?

Equally, perhaps your builder or plumber is the world's greatest ever conker-player or whistler or footballer with tiny bits of stone or constructor of models out of sweet-wrappers, or the equivalent in some other art, entertaining enough in its own right, but somehow not valued by the world. Perhaps he's the greatest-ever plumber.

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