I do not think he tried to be different but purely was different. I do not believe he made up his pose or interpretations and acted a clever showman to gain popularity or at least point out. I think he was different from the very start. He had a very rough time in school and was picked on so his mother took him out of ordinary school in an early age and then put him in the conservatory in Toronto at the age of 10.
And at last, my theory, which I am not alone having, is that Gould suffered from Aspgerger's Syndrome. I will quote the typical syndrom below.
Individuals with AS can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. Persons with AS show marked deficiencies in social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer sameness. They often have obsessive routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. They have a great deal of difficulty reading nonverbal cues (body language) and very often the individual with AS has difficulty determining proper body space. Often overly sensitive to sounds, tastes, smells, and sights, the person with AS may prefer soft clothing, certain foods, and be bothered by sounds or lights no one else seems to hear or see. It's important to remember that the person with AS perceives the world very differently. Therefore, many behaviors that seem odd or unusual are due to those neurological differences and not the result of intentional rudeness or bad behavior, and most certainly not the result of "improper parenting".
Source: Barbara L. Kirby
By definition, those with AS have a normal IQ and many individuals (although not all), exhibit exceptional skill or talent in a specific area. Because of their high degree of functionality and their naiveté, those with AS are often viewed as eccentric or odd and can easily become victims of teasing and bullying. While language development seems, on the surface, normal, individuals with AS often have deficits in pragmatics and prosody. Vocabularies may be extraordinarily rich and some children sound like "little professors." However, persons with AS can be extremely literal and have difficulty using language in a social context.
Founder of the OASIS Web site (www.aspergersyndrome.org)
Co-author of THE OASIS GUIDE TO ASPERGER SYNDROME (Crown, 2001, Revised 2005)
It fits very well to Gould...as well as Einstein and other people regarded as genius or having an extreme skill in a specific area.