Beethoven and His Nephew: A Psychoanalytic Study of Their Relationship

Beethoven and His Nephew: A Psychoanalytic Study of Their Relationship

Beethoven and His Nephew: A Psychoanalytic Study of Their Relationship

Beethoven and His Nephew: A Psychoanalytic Study of Their Relationship

Excerpt

In Heiligenstadt, a lovely suburb of Vienna, many of the houses bore commemorative tablets with the inscription:

IN THIS HOUSE LIVED LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN IN THE YEAR 18..

Our own residence there was a small villa in a short, narrow side street named after the Roman Emperor Probus, who, in the course of his campaigns in Pannonia, had brought viniculture to this land of the Danube. The street consisted almost entirely of one-storey houses, most of them wineshops; it ended in a small square, on the farther side of which stood the house in which Beethoven had lived in 1804 while working on the Eroica Symphony. Hence it was known as the "Eroica House." The lodging which he had occupied was open to visitors. We remember the charming courtyard, the outside stairway, and Beethoven's low- ceilinged, two-room apartment. One could not look about the bare rooms without a feeling of reverence, as if the place had been consecrated by the great man's creativity. We could imagine the Titan as he lived in these rooms, possessed by his creative urge, unapproachable, in solitary struggle with all the difficulties which fate meted out to him, until, in a gigantic act of creation, he freed himself from everything earthly and rose into the transcendent realm of his great works. Everything that we had read about him, everything that his works told us of him, crystallized into this conception of the Hero of the Spirit, whose presence and touch had imparted something of his own immortality to the shabby rooms.

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