“Beethoven’s Incident at Teplitz,” by Mike Fowler

Mar 19th, 2019 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

The literary world is abuzz with the discovery of the only known dramatic work of Ludwig van Beethoven, written on a single sheet of quarto paper and inserted in the composer’s aged, cracked wallet along with brothel chits and deaf-aid coupons. Only last year’s find of some charcoal nudes by Shakespeare, tucked into his high school yearbook between two pages rarely separated by literary historians, has had similar impact. Since the Beethoven scenario makes liberal use of Italian mood terms that the composer frequently uses in his scores, we know the work is genuine. There is also a second reason we know this.* The work depicts the composer’s real-life encounter with royalty at the spa at Teplitz while walking arm-in-arm with the poet Goethe, the two friends frigging about on holiday in a likely state of intoxication. While Goethe doffed his hat and bowed to the aristocrats, Beethoven brushed by them, considering himself and the poet to be the true highborn men. Here now for the first time in English translation Incident at Teplitz, by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Setting: The spa at Teplitz, Bohemia, summer of 1842

Goethe (sentimento crescendo): This place isn’t too bad, eh? Those green shrubs! The rosy cheeks on that fraulein! (molto soave) A word from her would make your soldier salute, wouldn’t it, my boy?

Beethoven (prestissimo serioso): Speak up, Wolfgang. Owing to my deafness, I can’t hear you unless you’re pounding kettledrums. Look, a bunch of royals headed our way. Don’t they look too fine? Those two swells in front look as if they’ve never broken wind in their lives. Here’s what we’ll do. Hold onto my arm, and we’ll plough right through them like a living battering-ram. They must give way! You and I are the true nobility after all, incomparable artists that we are! These dukes are merely born by accident never to suffer or want!

Goethe (presto retardando limp pasta all weepioso): Oh no, my impetuous young friend! We must show deference! The social order and my investment in municipal bonds depend upon that! (As the bluebloods draw near) I doff my hat! I prepare to bow!

Beethoven (molto aggressivo con brio con carne): Stand tall, if you are a man and an artist! (con majestico macho grande impressivo coolasshitto) Stare defiantly at the lake before us, into which I now throw you for your shameful subservience!

Goethe (con molto wimpo degrado tremolo sackless invertebrato collapso): Not into the water, no! (weenie fragmento flaccido limp as spaghettio)  Think of my new suit! (all ladyboy prostate hysterico) And now I am attacked by a large and angry swan! 

Beethoven (victorioso magnifico ballsy in modo hairy chesto): This for your swan! (He clubs the bird senseless with his walking staff) Meet me in the clubhouse when you dry out, if you ever do, you sodden toady. I’ll buy you a warming Prosecco.

Goethe (furioso in tempo d’un wet trousers with feathers clinging to them): Ugh!

Curtain Vivace

  *Amplification needed.


Defenestration-Michael Fowler

Mike Fowler has been in Defenestration so many times he practically owns stock in the magazine. And by stock, of course, we mean delicious waffles. He’s all about self-promotion these days, so go buy his book.

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