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Mysterious Mozart Hardcover – June 28, 2010

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


"A good read from a highly published and interesting thinker who loves Mozart's music."--Journal of Australian Studies

"Philippe Sollers is a mercurial personality and a leading controversial figure on the French literary scene, and his take on Mozart is fresh, lively, witty, and informed. What makes Mysterious Mozart especially interesting is its blend of music criticism, biography, and personal insight.”--David Hayman, translator and editor of Philippe Sollers's Writing and the Experience of Limits


"A most intriguing alternative, in content and method, to almost all other recent books on Mozart.  Highly recommended."--Choice


"A journey of fanciful discovery. . . . Opinionated and laden with insights."--Opera News

About the Author

Philippe Sollers is a French biographer, editor, critic, and novelist whose work includes books on Dante, Willem De Kooning, Pablo Picasso, and Giacomo Casanova. He is a cofounder of the avant-garde journal Tel Quel and the founder of L'Infini. Armine Kotin Mortimer is a professor of French at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the author of Writing Realism: Representations in French Fiction and a study of Sollers's Paradis.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1st Edition edition (June 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252035461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252035463
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,796,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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Written with uninhibited enthusiasm which sometimes lapses into cheerfully purple prose and digressive forays into personal associations, this book is a charming and informative and indeed penetrating look at the mystery of Mozart -- his mind, his heart, his intentions, his feelings, his fate, his message. At times telegraphic, elusive, allusive, poetic, and borderline cryptic, in the end the styles and mix of genres make this book unique, and uniquely insightful.

Because Sollers makes no pretenses that this is either an exhaustive biography or an unbiased impersonal musical analysis, he is free to break the normal rules, and this gives him the freedom to go beyond where a biographer can, and to proffer deep insights, inferences, opinions, preferences and superlatives. To evoke Mozart in more vivid reality than mere scholars can.

I found the book very enjoyable, and wanted it never to end. I came away feeling I have an intimate, thorough understanding of Mozart as a person. This is invaluable.

Lastly, I'll mention that the book makes judicious, plentiful and wonderful use of perfectly chosen excerpts from Mozart's letters, and also some of the letters he received. This is glorious! By letting Mozart speak for himself, and by using penetrating insight into his words, and by incisive analysis of his music and operas, Sollers has given us the gift of seeing into Mozart's soul.
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