Monday, September 20, 2004

Beavis Amadeus Mozart?

Alex Ross has a review in the New Yorker that makes this amusing point about Mozart:

The breathtaking profanity of Mozart’s letters—“Whoever doesn’t believe me may lick me, world without end,” and so on—has led one British researcher to conclude recently that the composer had Tourette’s syndrome. What’s interesting about this theory, which has become the goofball classical-music news item of the season, is that anyone would actually need a far-fetched medical explanation for the fact that a young male with healthy appetites swore a lot and liked to talk about sex.

Hmmmmm. It seems odd, maybe, to think that some of the greatest music of all time was composed by an overgrown adolescent, but then, it also seems odd to think that some of the greatest fusions of music and drama of all time -- the operas of Wagner -- were composed by an egomaniac anti-Semite.

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