And to make sure the child finds her way through every entanglement, Mother sets up guideposts along the way, smacking Erika if she refuses to practice. If her mother had had her way, she would have started a career as a pianist. Unlike her fictional character, Jelinek escaped the expectations of her mother and began writing early on.
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But she never really freed herself from her mother until the latter's death. It is her mother who continually determines the rules and does not allow her daughter to do as she likes. As a result, Erika is stunted both emotionally and sexually. Without a love life of her own, she visits peepshows and watches strangers having sex in the park.
But not even that helps. She feels nothing, and she begins to self-harm. Then she presses the blade into the back of her hand several times, but not so deep as to injure tendons.
It doesn't hurt at all. The metal slices her hand like butter.
When one of her students woos her, she responds dismissively, but later entrusts her sadomasochistic fantasies to him. With dramatic consequences. There is salvation, so to speak, but not for the pianist. Nor for the reader. The novel is an alarming, disturbing read. In the process, all the gloom of the story is penetrated by a sarcastic humor.
The Piano Teacher is one of Elfriede Jelinek's most important works, even though the novel has been read in very different ways: as a personal story of the author herself, describing her own morbid-symbiotic relationship with her mother, but also as a book about family violence and the war of the sexes.
So distanced, almost cold; no woman has so drastically written about family, sexuality, physical and emotional cruelty. Since then, Jelinek has been viewed as something of a taboo breaker, even as a bit of a feather-ruffler because, in her later works, she has criticized the Austrian handling of their own Nazi past.
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Her work includes numerous novels and plays in which she takes a critical position on social grievances. Several of her books have been turned into movies.
We've compiled this list of online links to direct you to the publishers of out must-read books, where you can purchase them. Since being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature last week, Bob Dylan has yet to react. On the occasion of her 70th birthday, DW looks back at another reluctant winner: Austrian author and playwright Elfriede Jelinek.
- THE PIANO TEACHER - LA PIANISTE;
- New Resources.
- The Piano Teacher;
The message in Nobel Prize-winning playwright Elfriede Jelinek's one-woman monologue is clear: 'The king is guilty. For only the ninth time in the year history of the Nobel Prize, the award for literature has gone to a woman. Elfriede Jelinek was commended for her frequent critiques of consumerism and the subjugation of women.
The Nobel Prize in Literature remains one of the highest accolades for writers. From sarcastic Austrian author Elfriede Jelinek to Turkey's first winner Orhan Pamuk, here's a look back at the laureates since Reports from around the world, interviews, author profiles, book tips and German-language novels in English translation in short videos: The new YouTube channel DW Books kicks off with an opulent offering. But before they're translated from German, here's a peek at the titles that are seen as this year's best.
Enough sex, not enough sex? Sigmund Freud said sexual repression is at the root of most human problems. A century ago, the opulent Ufa-Palast cinema opened in Weimar Berlin and became a venue for celebrated premieres — and later Nazi propaganda. You see, an entirely new construction system is being used. Every aspect is custom-designed, according to your precise wishes.
You pay your money and you get your choice. Mother, who has only a tiny pension, gets her choice and Erika pays. In the brand-new state-of-the-art condominium, mother and daughter will each have her own realm, Erika here, Mother there, both realms neatly divided. However, they will have a common living room to meet in. If they wish. But of course they do, because they belong together. Even here, in this dump, which is slowly falling to pieces, Erika already has her own realm, her own roost, which she rules and is ruled in.
It is only a provisional realm; Mother can walk in at any time.
The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek – review
A child has no secrets from her mother. No one may interfere; this room is her property. Just where is Erika, that fidgety property? Where is she wandering? Is she alone or with someone else? Erika is such a live wire, such a mercurial thing. Why, she may be running around at this very moment, up to no good. Yet every day, the daughter punctually shows up where she belongs: at home. Mother worries a lot, for the first thing a proprietor learns, and painfully at that, is: Trust is fine, but control is better.
So Erika is almost always at home. Now and then, Erika may attend an evening concert, but she does so less and less. Instead she sits at her piano, pounding away at her long-discarded career as a concert pianist. Or else Erika enjoys performing with congenial colleagues, exuberantly playing chamber music. Her mother can telephone her at such times too. Erika pulls against apron strings, she repeatedly begs her mother not to telephone.
The Piano Teacher | book by Jelinek | huycirosta.ga
But Mother ignores her pleas, for she alone dictates the shalts and shalt-nots. Mother also controls the general demand for her daughter, so that ultimately fewer and fewer people wish to see Erika, or even speak to her. Music fills her time completely. Her time has no room for anything else. Nothing offers so much pleasure as a magnificent performance by the finest virtuosi. Mother makes generous use of this privilege, this homemade structure of security and intimacy.
Time around Erika is slowly turning into a plaster cast. It crumbles the instant her mother strikes it. Mother has called her up, making her a laughingstock, and Erika is forced to admit: I have to go home now. If ever you run into Erika on the street, she is usually on her way home.
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Mother says: Erika suits me just fine the way she is. Nothing more will come of her. Self-centered male love threatened to interfere with her studies. Superficial things like makeup and clothes reared their ugly heads. And her career ended before it ever got underway. Still, you need some kind of security: the position of piano teacher at the Vienna Conservatory.