Happy Birthday Schubert
- There is a certain type of person who turns out to have died of syphilis.
- It is usually a man with devils inside him.
- It’s not the same as consumption, which took out people indiscriminately.
- Consumption is good for films set in the olden days. You have the person cough once or twice, or even just hold a handkerchief in a secretive way, and this is considered sufficient exposition.
- On your way, coughing person. Time to die.
- Syphilis is not so useful, structurally, or not so immediately recognisable.
- To have a person die of syphilis in a movie, a whole of stuff needs to happen – it takes up a lot of time.
- There needs to be a scene where the man is stumbling round a brothel, drinking clear alcohol, with a bandage coming untied from his head.
- Then basically the rest of the film is just his Slow Decline – he is feverishly surging around the streets of Vienna, he is clutching the legs of a serene wide-faced woman (his sister – she will never forgive him), he is staring in wonderment at the ravages of his face.
- There is maybe some Art happening in the background, but mostly it’s the syphilis express.
- It’s just terrible. I even heard a radio show about you where honestly the main thing they spoke about was your powerful sexy private life.
- They played a bit of Die Winterreise and a bit of The Trout and then slam. Back to you surging around the streets of Vienna.
- This narrative, of course, fails to convey how incredibly hard you must have worked.
- An accurate movie of your life would just be you sitting down, writing, and taking extremely infrequent sex breaks.
- You died when you were 31, only, and you wrote a Christ of a lot of stuff, a great deal of which is in that category called “immortal”.
- If I died right now there would only be this website and some things about how much I like Snoopy.
- This for some reason does not fill me with despair.
- Happy Birthday.