Erin's Reviews > Les amantes

Les amantes by Elfriede Jelinek
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's review
Jul 05, 2009

really liked it
Read in July, 2009

This almost achieved a five star rating for me, until the last handful of pages when it felt a bit redundant. However, this book which is written like a piece of prose poetry, is filled with a stark vision of the options that a woman has in a unnamed culture. Of course, I personalized the book to myself and saw some correlations between my own cultural upbringing and those of the two women that are examples in this book.

Brigitte and Paula both must somehow secure their own futures by choosing the appropriate man and then somehow convincing that man that he is in love with her (which results in marriage). One woman's story is pronounced "successful" while the other one does not achieve success and ends up destitute and in the worst possible situation. The novel is grim. Success is attached to the womb and the path that leads to that place isn't pleasurable or happy, just a long suffering that must be endured until the seed is planted.


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