Happy Birthday Schubert

by rosalyster

  1. There is a certain type of person who turns out to have died of syphilis.
  2. It is usually a man with devils inside him.
  3. It’s not the same as consumption, which took out people indiscriminately.
  4. 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.
  5. On your way, coughing person. Time to die.
  6. Syphilis is not so useful, structurally, or not so immediately recognisable.
  7. To have a person die of syphilis in a movie, a whole of stuff needs to happen – it takes up a lot of time.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. There is maybe some Art happening in the background, but mostly it’s the syphilis express.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. This narrative, of course, fails to convey how incredibly hard you must have worked.
  14. An accurate movie of your life would just be you sitting down, writing, and taking extremely infrequent sex breaks.
  15. 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”.
  16. If I died right now there would only be this website and some things about how much I like Snoopy.
  17. This for some reason does not fill me with despair.
  18. Happy Birthday.