Mozart and the Kill-Joy
An intelligent and entertaining confrontation with the omnipresent "genius" Mozart.
Suppose Mozart's talent had only been average? What if his early works had been composed by his father? What if his symphonies, allegedly such masterpieces, were really inferior imitations and far removed from real greatness?
The first-person narrator of Michael Köhlmeier's novella opens his investigations not so much from conviction as on a whim, but he is soon possessed by a feverish desire of seeing through the master's game. Mr. Löschenkohl, a musicologist, supplies useful material, and Mrs. Löschenkohl the necessary inspiration. A series of articles will disclose the secret, reveal sensational conclusions, and bring about the hero's downfall. And while Mozart is chopped apart, his persecutor's ego swells.
But where does it lead, this mysterious track we follow with such baited breath? On to new insights? Or straight ahead into a labyrinth with no emergency exit, a cabinet of mirrors where me meet nobody but ourselves?
Can we recognize greatness when we see it? Or do we recognize only what we have been taught to see?