The Piano Teacher

The Piano Teacher

Book - 1999
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A haunting tale of morbid voyeurism and masochism, The Piano Teacher is one of the greatest contemporary European novels. Erika Kohut teaches piano at the Vienna Conservatory by day. But by night she trawls the porn shows of Vienna while her mother, whom she loves and hates in equal measure, waits up for her. Into this emotional pressure-cooker bounds music student and ladies' man, Walter Klemmer. With Walter as her student, Erika spirals out of control, consumed by the ecstacy of self-destruction. First published in 1983, The Piano Teacher is the masterpiece of Elfriede Jelinek, Austria's most famous writer. Directed by Michael Haneke, the film won three major prizes at the Cannes 2000 Festival including best actor for Beno't Magimel and best actress for Isabelle Huppert.
Publisher: London : Serpent's Tail, 1999
ISBN: 9781852427504
Branch Call Number: JEL
Characteristics: 280 p. ;,20 cm
Additional Contributors: Neugroschel, Joachim


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Dec 15, 2013

This book is definitely not for the faint of heart nor the judgmental. Jelinek tackles a difficult subject: when does hate become love or love become hate? Do we even know what those jumbles of emotion mean? Fetishism pulls on the hard line that some pain is an expression of love, but when does it become an expression of hate and disdain? Erika is the troubled outsider who seeks the explore that fine demarcation, one that Walter does not understand: he is too much in the world, or perhaps just too young, to explore the depth of the human psyche the way Erika wishes him to.
Jelinek has a powerful writing style which brings pure poetry to such a dark and sticky topic. It is not an easy read but a fascinating one.

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