“Bravo Herr Mozart!” (short story) by Yasutaka Tsutsui
English Publication History:
Salmonella Men on Planet Porno (Alma Books, 2006)
Salmonella Men on Planet Porno (Pantheon Books, 2008)
Original: Japanese, 1970
Translated by Andrew Driver, 2006
Synopsis: With a random smattering of scattered data, a biographer pieces together a bizarre picture of Mozart’s life. Little known extrapolations include the fact he was born with only three fingers but later only had a single digit; he was born at the age of three and never had a mother; he once fancied Maria Antoinette but lost her; and become involved in an orgy in which he married the unfavorable of the three sisters.
Analysis: As the synopsis read, this is one odd short story, which isn’t even a story in most regards, yet there is a story—it’s not a story of cause and effect like most fiction, but it’s a very brief glimpse of factoids. I’m not even sure if this story has any reflection of societal pressures, Japanese culture, or other miscellaneous pertinent issues. It just places itself into the bizarro sub-sect of fiction.
As the synopsis reads, the story itself reads like a glued together mini-biography based on a grab bag selection of facts stitched together by nothing more than the intuition of a twisted mind. It’s a nonsensical look at his life (e.g., his ménage à trois with some Italian sisters), twisted in too many ways to number, and filled with absurdist humor (e.g., born with three fingers yet played with only one later in his life). It’s brief glimpses of humor are an odd contrast to the rest of the collection, each of which have morale, be it blatant or subtle.