The Piano Teacher

The Piano Teacher

Book - 1999
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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 ecstasy of self-destruction.
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.
Publisher: London : Serpent's Tail, 1999
ISBN: 1852427507 (pbk.)
Branch Call Number: FIC JELINEK
Characteristics: 280 p. ; 20 cm

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Cecilturtle
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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