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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  6,698 Ratings  ·  648 Reviews
Vuonna 2004 Nobel-palkitun itävaltalaiskirjailijan elokuvanakin nähty, raaka ja loistokas kuvaus naisen yksinäisyydestä ja katastrofiin päättyvästä rakkauden etsinnästä.
Paperback, 333 pages
Published 2007 by Otava (first published 1983)
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Paul Bryant
Dec 30, 2013 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
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
I rarely think of Elfriede Jelinek anymore.

She used to be my favourite pet hate for a couple of years after she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Somehow I was reconciled with her in the year 2016. After all, she is an intelligent, talented woman who can write unbearably painful, yet eloquent and sophisticated prose. I don't like her writing, but she undoubtedly is a skilled and interesting author. She may deserve a Nobel Prize in Literature for that. So, peace made!

Today I reviewed my
Sep 23, 2013 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
Sep 13, 2014 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
May 08, 2012 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
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
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
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
Sep 05, 2013 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
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
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Per quanto la si invochi, non si trova una sola anima buona"

Questo romanzo, l'ascolto di questo romanzo in realtà, è stato il compagno di viaggio dei tragitti di spostamento verso mete austriache e germaniche.
In particolare di un interminabile viaggio di ritorno da Monaco durato esattamente il doppio del tempo atteso causa congestione Brennero & co. Perfetto accompagnamento in stile sofferenza, mi sono sono somministrata il vortice livido e oscuro delle parole delle Jelinek. Una musica ang
Neal Adolph
Can I keep this short and sweet? Maybe. Let's see.

Elfriede Jelinek is, perhaps, one of the most controversial of the Nobel Prize Winners from the 21st Century. I think that drew me to her. This one literary message board that I am a member of has a constant hate-on for her contribution to letters and her prize. I think that drew me to her.

I can see, after reading this book, why she won the prize. She dabbles in really complex relationships, and here we see several. Erika Kohut, the protagonist,
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have made my way through this painful and upsetting novel.
Ever since Elfriede Jelinek won Nobel Prize in 2004, but didn’t come to Stockholm to pick it up, I have believed that she was not for me. Elfriede was classified as pretentious, difficult, a woman, yes, but hermetic and hyper intellectual, or so I got it from the reviews.
How wrong I was. Her writing is very alive, yet to the darkest side. If there is a place called “domestic hell - for mothers and daughters only”, the protagonist, pian
Nate D
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: austria, 80s, read-in-2016
Excorciating psychological study of the utter failure of interpersonal connection. Austria would appear to have issues that can only be worked through via brutal works of art, and in many ways Jelinek is harsher than anything approached by Bernhard. In some ways Jelinek writes in an anti-style, just piling declarative sentences at the reader until they're forced to accept their content. But then she switches course and descends into convoluted structures of metaphor so mixed as to almost lose me ...more
Nov 22, 2013 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
Aug 06, 2013 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
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Pošto vidim da niko od mojih prijatelja nije čitao 'Pijanistkinju', pišem ovaj prikaz u želji da inspirišem na čitanje jer mi je ovo jedna od najdražih knjiga.
Elfride Jelinek je jedna vrlo neobična dama, ako se ikad guglali nešto o njoj, verujem da znate, i veliki deo ovog dela je autobiografski. Posebno mi je zanimljivo da ovde ne postoji klasičan Edipov kompleks, već složen odnos između majke i ćerke koji je na ivici da postane incestuozan, i istovremeno su u srži ženskog lika, Erike Kohut, br
Allison Floyd
Mar 18, 2008 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
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, nobels
I read this as I also explored, in separate texts, how pain is depicted in literature. Norridge, in Perceiving Pain, explores writers memorializing pain as a way of lament, a way of bearing witness to the suffering of past and present. While this book is certainly different, setting and all, it was interesting to read it with that context in mind, particularly when 'lament' literature is a kind I'm drawn to. Simply put, this novel focuses on pain; the kind of pain that forces a character to dark ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 28, 2007 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
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
What could happen between a piano teacher and one of her students? Nothing that you've guessed, I can assure you.

In addition, the main character must face her mother's constraints to her own way of life.
Nov 19, 2008 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
K.D. Absolutely
Jan 29, 2010 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
Jun 21, 2007 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
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Armin Hennig
Mar 30, 2015 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
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KNJIŽEVNI KLABING: Jelinek, Pijanistkinja 27 49 Dec 12, 2016 08:26AM  
500 Great Books B...: The Piano Teacher - Elfriede Jelinek - Aubrey 1 23 Oct 30, 2014 05:47PM  
صالون الجمعة: معلمة البيانو | 8-2014 21 223 Aug 21, 2014 11:51PM  
  • Malina
  • Patterns of Childhood
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  • The Hunger Angel
  • Fatelessness
  • The Safety Net
  • The Last World
  • Wandering Star
Elfriede Jelinek is an Austrian playwright and novelist, best known for her novel, The Piano Teacher.

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."
More about Elfriede Jelinek...
“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.” 71 likes
“Vice is basically the love of failure.” 34 likes
More quotes…