"When I went to the north, I had no intention of writing about it, or of referring to it, even parenthetically, in anything that I wrote. And yet, almost despite myself, I began to draw all sorts of metaphorical allusions based on what was really a very limited knowledge of the country and a very casual exposure to it. I found myself writing musical critiques, for instance, in which the north – the idea of north – began to serve as a foil for other ideas and values that seemed to me depressingly urban-oriented and spiritually limited thereby."
"Something really does happen to most people who go into the north – they become at least aware of the creative opportunity which the physical fact of the country represents, and, quite often I think, come to measure their own work and life against that rather staggering creative possibility – they become, in effect, philosophers."
–Glenn Gould, notes from The Idea of North