Both a beguiling portrait of the artist and an idiosyncratic self-portrait of the author, Mysterious Mozart is Philippe Sollers's alternately oblique and searingly direct interpretation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's oeuvre and lasting mystique, audaciously reformulated for the postmodern age.
With a mix of slang, abstractions, quotations, first- and third-person narratives, and blunt opinion, French writer and critic Philippe Sollers taps into Mozart's playful correspondence and the lesser-known pieces of his enormous repertoire to analyze the popularity and public perceptions of his music. Detailing Mozart's drive to continue producing masterpieces even when saddled with debt and riddled with illness and anxiety, Sollers powerfully and meticulously analyzes Mozart's seven last great operas using a psychoanalytical approach to the characters' relationships.
As Sollers explores themes of constancy, prodigy, freedom, and religion, he offers up bits of his own history, revealing his affinity for the creative geniuses of the eighteenth century and a yearning to bring that era's utopian freedom to life in contemporary times. What emerges is an inimitable portrait of a man and a musician whose greatest gift is a quirky companionability, a warm and mysterious appeal that distinguishes Mozart from other great composers and is brilliantly echoed by Sollers's artful tangle of narrative.