Amadeus: A Pinnacle of Cultural Corruption

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Amadeus: A Pinnacle of Cultural Corruption

Innlegg Panther 01 Des 2010, 21:38

28 November 2010 Edward Cline

Literary imagination is more properly applied to Aristotle’s ought, and not to his is.

Many wiser minds have written about the failure of statist economics, the fraud of “social parity,” the scam of anthropogenic climate change, and the injustice and guaranteed poverty inherent in a policy of “spreading the wealth around a little.” But, why does not the wisdom exhibited in these essays circulate as rapidly as does gossip, or hearsay, or scandal? Why is it so difficult to impart a general acceptance that the truisms burst in these essays were indeed lies, frauds, and deceptions?

These and other very old progressive balloons are being burst, or at least they are losing their buoyancy without the slightest prick of the needle. So many were floated with great ballyhoo and celebration, yet when they reach a certain altitude and nearness to the sun of rational scrutiny, they inevitably fall to earth, their fallacies escaping like helium through the expanded pores of the balloons’ material. Their shapeless forms litter the landscape everywhere.

Allied with these phenomena are certain cultural “truisms,” such as the intrinsic value of abstract and anti-art, or the noise and obscenity of rap “music” as legitimate modes of expression, or the semi-literacy that can be had in obtaining a degree in English in a community college. There are certain cinematic icons, also, that stand as truisms, such as Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus. Salieri murdered Mozart, right?

In the film’s opening dialogue between Salieri and the priest, Salieri asks the priest if he knows who he is. The priest answers that it makes no difference, all men are equal in God's eyes."Are they?" replies Salieri. That establishes the theme for the rest of the story. Salieri was saying, "Well, they aren't all equal in His eyes. He bestows ability to compose great music on some, and not on others, which is unjust. He cheated me, the virtuous man dedicated to His glory, and rewarded 'the creature' who was not dedicated to His glory. But I showed Him. I murdered Mozart. Or, at least, I drove him to his death. The devil didn't make me do it. God himself did by betraying me, mocking me. But, even then, God cheated me, by foiling my plans to be credited with the Requiem that was to be played at Mozart’s funeral.”

And not once, in either any of the play versions or the film version, does Shaffer allow Salieri to say it was true that he murdered Mozart.

Two articles can be found online that address the propagated “truisms” of Amadeus. One is A. Peter Brown’s “’Amadeus’ and Mozart: Setting the Record Straight,” originally published in The American Scholar in 1992. Brown thoroughly bursts most of the balloons that surround the myth of Mozart, Salieri, and the murder hypothesis. A second article is Albert Borowitz’s “Salieri and the ‘Murder’ of Mozart,” an essay on the Tarlton Law Library Legal Studies Forum site, published in 2006. Among the many conspiracy theories discussed by Borowitz are the 19th century cottage industry of “proving” Salieri’s poisoning of Mozart and the “contract” put out by the Freemasons on a disobedient member, Mozart.

An additional treasure trove of information about Mozart’s relationship with the Viennese court can be found in Dorothea Link’s “Mozart’s Appointment to the Viennese Court.”

Amadeus is the sack into which the reputations of both Mozart and Salieri were sewn by Peter Shaffer and Milos Forman, tossed ingloriously into the common grave of the undifferentiated, and sprinkled with generous shovelfuls of the lime of Critical Theory.

Well – there it is.
Ken-G. Johansen.
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