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Die Klavierspielerin

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,412 Ratings  ·  532 Reviews
«Eine literarische Glanzleistung.» (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Von ihrer Mutter wurde sie unerbittlich zur Pianistin gedrillt. Und nun findet die Klavierlehrerin Erika Kohut nicht mehr aus der Isolation heraus. Unfähig, sich auf das Leben einzulassen, wird sie zur Voyeurin. Als einer ihrer Schüler ein Liebesverhältnis mit ihr anstrebt, erkennt sie, dass sie nur noch im Leiden und
Paperback, 283 pages
Published December 31st 1995 by Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH (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
Paul Bryant
Jan 06, 2014 Paul Bryant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, mentalillness
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
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
Dec 11, 2013 Dolors rated it really liked it  ·  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
Aug 03, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erika, the piano teacher, has issues. She’s in her late 30s, an age we are repeatedly told is quite old, and she sleeps in the matrimonial bed with her domineering mother: hands outside the covers, lest those fingers go wandering. The book opens with Erika pulling a handful of hair out of her mother’s head, and it only gets better-worse from there. To say much more would risk taking away the gasps a reader is entitled to when reading this.

The synopsis of The Piano Teacher didn’t really prepare
Sep 23, 2013 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jun 25, 2014 Hadrian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, austria
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
Feb 01, 2016 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, fiction
I cut myself with razors and bleed out, I consume it back, which is me, part of me, it is mine.
Sitting down in a pasture full of slimy eels, crushing them as they discharge their squeamish bits all over me.
Letting the gelatinous barrage of honey overwhelm me, while ants gnaw at my skin.
Breaking glass and running my fingers over it, crushing it in my bare hands, letting it stick out from every pore it manages to puncture.
This orifice of mine is not just mine, but someone else's; it can't tell me
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
Sep 15, 2013 طَيْف rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Allison Floyd
May 08, 2008 Allison Floyd rated it liked it  ·  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
Dec 10, 2013 Declan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'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
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
Jan 25, 2009 Timothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 21, 2007 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing  ·  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
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 11, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it did not like it  ·  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
Nov 06, 2012 Shanmugam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Armin Hennig
Apr 01, 2015 Armin Hennig rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hassbücher
Wieder mal ein Stern als ultimative Warnung vor leichtfertigem Beginn dieses anfängerhaften Erzählwerks, in dessen Verlauf sich die Autorin allerdings als brillante Meisterin beim Verleiden der Leselust profilieren kann. Aufgrund nicht von der Hand zu weisender Verdienste in Einzelaspekten müsste ein vielleicht sogar ein zweiter Stern dazu kommen, aber ich bin auch nur ein Mensch. Schließlich hat nicht nur mein Lesetempo während der Lektüre dieses erzähltechnisch überaus mangelhaften und oft auc ...more
"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
I wish GoodReads had a star for 'this was bizarre'!
See my perplexed review
In many ways, Elfriede Jelinek's Die Klavierspielerin is amazing. Visceral, explosive, descriptive in a horrifying, yet also curiously enticing manner, the novel presents a massively cracked and crumbling, distorted mirror of society (not just Austrian society, but society in general) and how stranglingly vigorous and seemingly impossible to fray and sever the patriarchal structures and fibres of power and might are and continue to be (and how they consume and infiltrate everything and everyone) ...more
Apr 11, 2015 Alexandra rated it liked it
“Ein Heuriger am Wochenende spukt bereits in ihren Köpfen herum und vernichtet mehrere Kilo Gedankenmaterial. Der Alkohol wird den Rest besorgen. Land der Alkoholiker. Stadt der Musik.”

Dieser wenig schmeichelhafte Blick ist nur der harmlose Auftakt ins böse Österreich, ein Blick hinter die Fassaden des Mozartkugeldreherlandes. Der imperiale touristische Zuckerguss, der alles überdeckt und erstickt wird abgekratzt und offenbart Furchterregendes. Lasst uns eintauchen ins Land der Gestörten, der Fr
Apr 02, 2015 Michael rated it did not like it
Shelves: geliehen, abandoned
Ich habe es versucht; Beim Grab meines verstorbenen Kanarienvogels schwöre ich, ich habe versucht, DIE KLAVIERSPIELERIN zu lesen.
Mein soziales Umfeld hat mich bei diesem Unternehmen nach Kräften unterstützt. Meine Frau hat mich mit noch gesünderer und ausgewogenerer Ernährung als sonst versorgt; ich bin der JA-Gruppe (Jelinek anonymous) beigetreten; ein personal trainer hat mich täglich massiert und mit Proteingetränken gemästet; Goodreads-Freunde haben mir Mut zugesprochen. Zugleich gab es unt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
“You think because he doesn't love you that you are worthless. You think that because he doesn't want you anymore that he is right -- that his judgement and opinion of you are correct. If he throws you out, then you are garbage. You think he belongs to you because you want to belong to him. Don't. It's a bad word, 'belong.' Especially when you put it with somebody you love. Love shouldn't be like that"- Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

*This review probably contains spoilers*

I've heard many peopl
Sahil Sood
May 12, 2014 Sahil Sood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
PGR Nair
Jan 05, 2015 PGR Nair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing  ·  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
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500 Great Books B...: The Piano Teacher - Elfriede Jelinek - Aubrey 1 16 Oct 30, 2014 05:47PM  
صالون الجمعة: معلمة البيانو | 8-2014 21 217 Aug 21, 2014 11:51PM  
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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)
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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.” 56 likes
“Vice is basically the love of failure.” 28 likes
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