Sunday, 13 November 2011

Jelinek, Elfriede “The Piano Teacher”

Jelinek, Elfriede “The Piano Teacher” (Die Klavierspielerin) - 1988

Elfriede Jelinek received the Nobel Prize for her "musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that, with extraordinary linguistic zeal, reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power."

Granted, her language is extraordinary, I loved the way she describes thoughts, actions, objects.

This is a novel about a musician, her mother, her love life. The main subject of the novel is definitely the mother-daughter relationship. I only read afterwards that the novel has a very autobiographic background. I try to read as little about the background of a piece as possible, as often they give away the end and the whole joy of reading the book personally. I think this was good in this case.

I could have strangled the mother, for example, how you can imprison a child in your life, unbelievable. I didn't care much for the sexual desires of the piano player, her voyeuristic and masochistic escapades which turned the book into a bad pornographic piece, at least that's what I imagine bad pornographic pieces to be like, don't have a lot of experience with that kind of literature.

I love reading Nobel prize winners' novels, they usually are chosen for a good reason. Most of them, I couldn't wait to read the next piece. Will I want to read another book by Elfriede Jelinek? Probably not.

And don't forget, I read the original, no translator messed up my perception.

Elfriede Jelinek received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004 "for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power".

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