IN THOMAS Harris’s best-selling 1988 horror novel The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lecter, a psy- chiatrist turned serial killer, tells his captors that he is willing to help them track down another murderer in return for certain privileges.
Among them is music in his cell: “Glenn Gould, The Goldberg Varia- tions? Would that be too much?” Lecter’s request is granted, and (both in the novel and in the 1991 Oscar-winning film version) Gould’s recording can be heard in the back- ground as the good doctor slaugh- ters his insufficiently wary guards and escapes into the night.
About the Author
Terry Teachout is COMMENTARY’s critic-at-large and the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal. Satchmo at the Waldorf, his first play, runs through November 4 at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.