Franz Schubert’s cri de coeur

Franz Schubert wrote this to his friend Kupelwieser:

“I feel myself to be the most unhappy and wretched creature in the world. Imagine a man whose health will never be right again, and who in sheer despair over this ever makes things worse and worse instead of better; imagine a man…whose most brilliant hopes have perished, to whom the felicity of love and friendship have nothing to offer but pain at best, whom enthusiasm…for all things beautiful threatens to forsake, and I ask you, is he not a miserable, unhappy being?… Each night, on retiring to bed, I hope I may not wake again, and each morning but recalls yesterday’s grief.…”

Schubert died in 1828 at the age of thirty-one.

Let psychologists tell us whether it is not entirely plausible that, while suffering the incredible, syphilis-related anguish he describes, and while, of course, having no inkling of his own greatness, he felt deep gratitude, satisfaction, joy, even elation, whenever he was inspired to write his music.

Source: Henry Schnitzler, in Gay Vienna, University of Pennsylvania Press

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One response to “Franz Schubert’s cri de coeur

  1. His slightly older contemporary, Robert Schmann’s death was no picnic either.