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La pianista

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  4,436 ratings  ·  448 reviews

"The Piano Teacher , [winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature,] is an exploration of fascism, not so much in the political sense as in the personal. In Joachim Neugroschel's excellent translation, the language is simple yet full of imaginative, often-funny metaphors, the view of the world original, if at times almost painfully bizarre."-New York Times Book Review

"A da

Paperback, 312 pages
Published 2002 by ES (first published 1983)
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Are our children ever our property? Is it ever justifiable for one human being to take possession of another human's will and freedom; is it okay to retain another human being for our own personal use, like you would do with a motor vehicle or a cup or a comb? Even when that human being belongs to another nation, or is our own child?

There is currently a world-wide ban against making slaves of persons belonging to other nationalities, though there is not yet consensus about making 'slaves' of ot
Show, not tell. The eternal plaint of literature. Do not tell us of the parade; bleed our ears to the beat of cacophony. Do not list out the throes of death; pierce our lungs and tie them up behind our backs. Do not speak of emotions with a single word; grip our hearts and plunge them into the carefully calibrated abyss.

Well, alright. Let me give that a try.

People say, oh, the joys of music! People sigh, oh, the mystic devotion of motherhood! People scream, oh, the sacrilegious desensitization o
Paul Bryant
A bit like the moment in The Gold Rush where Charlie Chaplin opens his cabin door and the howling gale blasts him across the room and he spends the next five minutes trying to shut the door again – so many raging roaring ideas came hurtling out of these pages that I struggled to close the book at all. Actually, that’s not the right image! Too healthy! It was more like one of those exhibitions of biological curiosities you got in some old teaching hospitals, somewhat frowned upon now, I imagine. ...more
Dec 11, 2013 Dolors rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Masochistic music lovers
Recommended to Dolors by: Aubrey&Brian&Declan&Ema&Knig&Trav
Shelves: read-in-2013
“I am convinced the most unfortunate people are those who would make an art of love. It sours other effort. Of all artists, they are certainly the most wretched.” Norman Mailer

Erika Kohut, the piano teacher, is an instrument of nature aiming solely for artistic cleanliness. She is an outstanding interpreter but won’t ever be able to perform. Her soul has been sucked dry and her mind has been poisoned by a sadistic upbringing, damaging permanently the neuronal connection that unites music and hum
Sep 23, 2013 Brian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Aubrey
The opposite sex always wants the exact opposite.

Jelinek writes in perfect compact sentences; streamlining and buffing those collection of words between periods to contain only what is needed, nothing more.

She knows that her mother's embrace will completely devour and digest her, yet she is magically drawn to it.

She packs those sentences full with minor motifs, brilliant characterization, startling imagery and sends them hurtling through the narrative. But there's a jack-knifed 18-wheeler of a
The Piano Teacher is an unbearably gruesome read. It starts off with a brutal spat of domestic violence (with fistfuls of pulled hair) and ends with two of the most disgusting sex scenes I've read in modern literature.

This is not a novel about personal growth or development, but about the opposite. Our main character, a piano teacher living with her hovering parasite of a mother, experiences personal destruction and the conflation of sex and romantic pleasure with pain. Unhealthy obsessions wit
Elfriede Jelinek's novel is a painful, brutal experience. I cannot say that I enjoyed this incursion in the grotesque, tenebrous entrails of the human psyche. I came back to reality saddened and disgusted, having tasted the extent of destruction which overbearing parents can have on their children's lives. And yet, the novel is well written, with surprising moments of lyricism; I cannot deny its value, despite the depressing story it contains.

There is almost no sign of beauty, goodness or hope
Allison Floyd
May 08, 2008 Allison Floyd rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those contemplating suicide, who need a little extra push.
This book was, to borrow someone else's phrasing, punishingly unendurable. But in the best possible way. The writing is like a luscious chocolate dessert sprinkled with sparkling shards of glass. The ladies (and gent) in this tome all strike me as the type who would grind up glass and serve it in your dessert. This is the land of the lovelorn and lacerated, folks. And Lazarus is nowhere in sight. Hey, if redemption isn't possible, at least there's always alliteration. Anyway, the real issue here ...more
معلمة البيانو...حين يتحول صوت الموسيقى إلى سلاح يدمر حياة عازفة بيانو ويحيلها خرابا!!!0

بفكرة مبتكرة تخوض الكاتبة النمساوية "الفريدي ايلينيك" الحائزة على جائزة نوبل (2004)، في عالم مظلم لأم وابنتها، الأم التي تسعى لأن تعتلي ابنتها غمام الشهرة من خلال عزفها على البيانو...وتمارس سلطة خانقة عليها...وسيطرة تفوق الحدود...بل تنظر لابنتها كملكية ثابتة كل ما يهمها هو أن تحافظ عليها وتحتفظ بها:

"يعتري الأم قلق شديد، لأن أول شيء يتعلمه المالك، وعلى نحو مؤلم، هو أن منح الثقة شيء جيد، لكن السيطرة أفضل، وكل ما
'The Piano Teacher' is like a piece of chamber music; a dissonant, serial composition with cold, confused Erika on piano, Mother on violin (always fiddling away even, or especially, when uncalled for by the score) and, supplying the lower notes, Walter Klemmer on cello (a little arrogant regarding his abilities and too keen to wave his bow about).

The music is without melody or harmony, but it is a stunning piece of virtuoso writing. The sounds are jarring, violent, cacophonous. Much of the techn
Unknown to herself and then surely to her mother and lovers, the piano teacher thinks on the edges of love, unable to occupy the center court of interdependence with another. Frightfully damaged, she seduces, controls, and then slivers away. Beware the absence of mutuality in a relationship.

THE PIANO TEACHER's passion leaves only red marks on your back and crevices in your soul.

Highly Recommended!
This is the novel that introduced 2004 Nobel Laureate Elfriede Jelinek to the English-speaking world. The Piano Teacher is biting social criticism. Parental relationships, public parks, morning commutes, and (especially) sexual relations take on an unsavory character. Perhaps most notably, this is a deeply feminist work. The Piano Teacher comments on the gendered nature of social power. By my take, there is a “trapped” sense to Erika Kohut, the piano teacher of the title – an entrapment that is ...more
This novel from the 2004 Nobel Prize winner reminded me, in its first half, of the works of A.M. Homes and John Cheever. The second half of this work on sex, violence, power, maternity, and identity, was like nothing I’ve read. This novel could be “about” many things, but its approach in presenting a detached view of sex and power turns ultimately into the very physical combination of both of these things. There is more to be said about how identities fluxuate depending on who holds control, and ...more
Apr 27, 2007 Tim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like literature
This is one of my favorite books. I can't even describe how amazed I was when I finished this book. Jelinek moves the reader from character to character, rarely telling us who we inhabit, yet unlike so many other books that abuse this device, it works. Commentary is mixed in with thoughts. Lurid sex scenes, violence, depression, despair, social commentary. It's all there, everything you need for a good weekend. Just add scotch.
Even the ending doesn't disappoint, which I was so sure, up until I
Three and a half stars

One of the questions that arose for me while reading this novel, was: Are our children ever our property? Is it ever justifiable for one human being to take possession of another human's will and freedom? Is it okay to retain another human being for our own personal use, like you would do with a motor vehicle or a cup or a comb? Even when that human being is our own child?

There is currently a world-wide ban against making slaves of persons belonging to other nationalities
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 11, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
Shelves: 1001-core, nobel
A smut. A pornographic material pretending to be, or as seen by many, as a work of art. I just don't get the fact that this was written by the 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Elfriede Jelinek (Austrian playwright and novelist) and its movie adaptation (that I saw and did not like as well) won the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. Sorry, I just don't get it.

This was one of the book that I brought with me during my 2-day stay (March 4 & 5, 2010) in the hospital for my knee operation. I was ab
As beautiful, disturbing and complex as a prose can get!

Don't know whether it was because of the hasty translation in the wake of nobel announcement, the inherent complex structure of the prose or the reading OCD, this is one of the very few books I have attempted more than once (quite a few times to be honest) and failed in midway. When I actually completed it this time, I was able to recollect the words in many places even before going through them :-|

The Piano Teacher follows the love hate tr
"The Piano Teacher" is a look at relationships involving control, submission, and psychological manipulation. Erika, a piano teacher in her thirties, still lives with her domineering mother in a love/hate relationship. Her mother controlled her every move as a child, shutting her off from other people, and demanding endless hours of musical practice daily. Although Erika was technically proficient, her emotions were too shut down to ever achieve greatness in interpreting the music.

Erika's small
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
PGR Nair
I heard about the Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek when she won Nobel Prize in 2004. However, I took too seriously the ridiculing comment made at that time by Knut Ahnlund , the respected Swedish Academy member and the man who was responsible for giving Nobel Prize to Gabriel Marquez . He left the Swedish Academy in protest, describing Jelinek's work as "whining, unenjoyable public pornography", as well as "a mass of text shovelled together without artistic structure". I therefore didn’t pay any ...more
May 27, 2008 Leslie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone depraved and up for a downer
Recommended to Leslie by: steven s.—and robert, sort of.
Jelinek is an image-driven writer and, as a result, her novels are full of delicious metaphors and other gems for word nerds. I read this whole book out loud and it was great. The "cutting" scene toward the beginning is particularly memorable: beautiful and shocking at once.

The novel is structured in two parts. Part one can be dense and a little slow going; some passages are almost oppressively detailed and melodramatic in a way that is equally pleasurable and frustrating. Part two is action-dr
Jim Leckband
You know, you never think you're gonna like a book about a doubly-named pedophile (Lolita), but somehow you do. The "somehow" being Nabokov's genius. The same somehow seems to be at work in "The Piano Teacher". Jelinek is no Nabokov, but she has a dark witty way with words that makes even the seemliest situations readable.

I'm sure there are abundant allegories to be found in this tale of a repressed and mother-dominated piano teacher in Austria - it seems that there are things standing for other
عبد الحميد بوحسين
ظل صارم لأم تنحت مسار ابنتها" إيريكا كوهوت" ،مسار يذهب كطريق سيار في اتجاه واحد:أن تظل لعبتها الدائمة،أن تخضع للعزلة الضرورية التي تراها الأم كفيلة بصناعة عازفة بيانو ناجحة..الحياة تركن في زاوية بعيدة عن الموسيقى و مشنقة الحرير التي تحولت إليها الأم
تتحرك يلنيك ببطء عبر هذه العلاقة لتيحث عميقا عن مفهومي التسلط و القمع الذين يعيشان جنبا الى جنب مع إيريكا،نجحت في ذلك لتِؤكد ما كتبه كونديرا في كتابه فن الرواية : "الرواية التي لم تكتشف قطعة مجهولة من الحياة رواية ناشزة،فالمعرفة هي الفضيلة الوحيدة للر
Lindu Pindu
I had to read this in baby steps as I couldn't take the sheer brutality of the images or language, all in one go. This also split up my perception of the story, and the way it's told.

This book is certainly about power, violence, gendered space, and all those similar notions. Mostly, for me, it was about needing to feel something. It's also centered on womens' self-loathing, and how that affects the boundaries between what you want and what you think you want, in order to reach a most-human state
Sahil Sood
To 'like' this book, one has to be first put-off by it. It's intensely harrowing and will leave a blot on your mind of such weight and intensity, that it'll become a part of your existence, something that you can never shrug off so easily. To read it is to mull-over the various layers of human repression, bestiality, depravity and loss of control. It's an unparalleled work of art that trespasses all possible areas of mental conflicts and suppressed desires; and paints love as a tumultuous, ragin ...more
الفكرة جميلة والرواية يجب أن تدرس في كليات علم النفس عتبي الوحيد أن ألفريدا شتت قليلا ذهن القارئ بالإنطاب لو كانت أختصرت قليلا في مقاطع لم تكن ضرورية و تبدو مكررة لكحازت الرواية على الخمس نجمات
Abu Hasan
من الكتب القليلة التي قرأتها قراءة سريعة من نسخة إلكترونية... سأحاول عرضه دون أن أحرق أحداثه
تعاني الشخصية الرئيسية للرواية، "أريكا" من هيمنة "مطريركية" (إن صح التعبير) أي هيمنة من قبل والدتها التي حاولت، ومازالت، تشكيل ابنتها وقولبتها من خلال استحواذها والتصرف معها كجزء من ممتلكاتها الخاصة
تهرب أريكا من هذا الواقع الذي يكبّلها إلى عالم خاص تقوم هي بتشكيله وقولبته، بخبرتها القليلة في الحياة، ظانّة أنه عالم يعكس حقيقة مشاعرها وتطلعاتها ورغباتها
تستحوذ على أحد تلاميذها محاولة إدخاله إلى عالمها وفق شر
Questo romanzo è di una crudeltà, una spietatezza incredibile, ti lacera l'anima e il cuore. Il rapporto ossessivo, perverso, angusto, morboso, intriso di critiche e asprità tra madre e figlia lascia sgomenti, inquieti, angosciati e il lettore si sente al centro di questo turbinio di emozioni, sensazioni uscendone devastato, annicchilito e stupefatto.
Una figlia Erika, dedita all'autolesionismo e al voyeurismo nei peep show del Prater, la cui vita è stata fin dall'infanzia programmata in nome del
I really wanted to like this novel more, considering its award-winning status, but it was a very hard one to swallow. It reads more like a pervese fairy tale than a longer fictional piece of substance. While I understand the whole using-violence-as-cleansing thing, I still think the characters weren't as developed as they could have been (Klemmer in particular). The translated version I have must have slowed the book down a bit too; there were even a bunch of typos in my version! Despite my medi ...more
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  • Malina
  • Kassandra
  • The Last World
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  • Old Masters
  • The Confusions of Young Törless
  • The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick
  • The Land of Green Plums
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  • Fatelessness
  • Das siebte Kreuz
  • Cat and Mouse (The Danzig Trilogy, #2)
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Elfriede Jelinek (German: [ɛlˈfʀiːdə ˈjɛlinɛk]; born 20 October 1946) is an Austrian playwright and novelist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in 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."

(from Wikipedia)
More about Elfriede Jelinek...
Les amantes Lust Wonderful, Wonderful Times Greed Die Kinder der Toten

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“Every day, a piece of music, a short story, or a poem dies because its existence is no longer justified in our time. And things that were once considered immortal have become mortal again, no one knows them anymore. Even though they deserve to survive.” 51 likes
“Vice is basically the love of failure.” 24 likes
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