The Piano Teacher

The Piano Teacher


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802144614
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 392,424
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

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The Piano Teacher 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
CR-Buell More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most profoundly affecting books I've ever read. Jelinek is a master of metaphor, and her prose is stunning. I've never read another author who was better able to portray the "inner life". The subject matter was disturbing, but also very real. The immediacy of being inside Erika's head allows you no distance from what's happening to her, and within her. Don't let some crazy old Swedish guy dissuade you from reading this book. The stream-of-consciousness prose style is a bit daunting, but if you're willing to work for it, this book really pays off.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Elfried Jelinek's books cannot easily be translated into english. The translations I have read do not sound as powerful as her works in original german. The first time I read her back in 1997, I had already the inkling that she would be awarded the Nobel Prize someday. I remember telling a friend hours before the prize was awarded in 2004, that I hoped they would give it to Jelinek. The simplicity of her narration is what makes her stories authentic. Hours later after she was announced the winner, my friend emailed me: 'sie hat gewonnen.' She won. I could not believe I could foretell a winner. I felt I won, too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Imagine a young man lusting after his piano teacher, an older female professor of music at a famous university who lives with her domineering mother. He pursues; she resists; he persists; she presents a list of kinky demands that, coupled with a bout of merciless sexual teasing, cause him to plan and then to execute an escape. First, however, he feels compelled to punish her physically for not yielding immediately to his importunate demands, and so he beats her to the point of breaking her nose and even a rib. In a puritanical society such as ours that considers the baring of an actress¿ breast on television sufficiently obscene to warrant a hefty fine from governmental regulators, a careful reader of this catalogue of conventional perversions, fetishes, and cruelties may be tempted to discard it as pornography until he recalls that it has just been awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature. Puzzled, seeking some redemptive merit, such a reader may find it in the work¿s painstaking character development, in its rich store of anecdotes about classical composers, and in its lavish use of metaphors, elegantly translated from German by a skilled bilinguist whose own surname rendered in English is Newpenny. As the distinguished eighteenth-century lexicographer, Dr. Samuel Johnson, once wrote of a contemporary novelist¿s works, if you were to read Richardson [read Jelinek] for plot, you¿d hang yourself. Ultimately, the reader is left to wonder about the judgment and mental acuity of those who surprisingly elevated this work from well-deserved obscurity twenty-one years after it was first published in German.
kuniyoshi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the best translations I've ever encountered in terms of taking a work and keeping it entertaining rather than making it strictly an accurate transformation of syntax. The swarming words frame each scene, again and again, in sometimes humorous and frequently horrifying terms. This is the story of a woman cut off from the world, whose secret ambition is, like all of us, to be loved. Her attempts to manifest her needs in the real world end up getting in the way of what she really wants. In trying to draw out love from one of her adult-students, she discovers in him a horrible abomination brought about by his own impatience, arrogance and wounded pride. She uses the wrong tools on the wrong tool, so to speak. This is not an easy book to read.
cataryna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have very mixed feelings about this book. While the story is engaging, in a dark, demented sort of way, I found I stumbled through a lot of it due to the writing style, particularly the totally unorganized paragraphical structure. If I look beyond the writing style I find a main character who, due to a lifetime of being dominated by her overbearing and cruel mother, seeks to be further dominated by her lover, Walter Klemmer in a sado-masochistic sexual relationship. While it might appear that Walter is the one doing the dominating, in reality it is Erika, as she is the one giving the orders as to what is to be done to her. Erika's attempt at controlling that previously unexplored aspect of her life fails miserably.I feel that if the writing style had been better I would have enjoyed the book a lot more.
JoLynnsbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fascinating book albeit in a train wreck, can't-look-away vein. Erica, a piano teacher at a University in Austria, and a failed concert pianist, is fast approaching middle age. Dominated by her overly possessive mother, she relieves her boredom and disappointment through voyeurism and self-mutilation. When a much younger student shows an interest in her, Erica takes a stab at escaping her isolated life with Mother. Will she succeed this time? Not for the faint of heart, an unflinching look into the minds of three damaged personalities - each one trying to come out on top. flag
kidzdoc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This must be the worst book written by a Nobel Prize winning author in the history of the award. The main character is thoroughly petty and dislikable, and the sex and violence in the book are incredibly vulgar. This novel is a memorable one for me, but for the wrong reasons.