Thursday, April 08, 2010
I saw the film version of The Piano Teacher several years back. At a time when I was watching nothing but disturbing, bleak films, The Piano Teacher stood out as a particularly treacherous mind-fuck.
So now I get around to reading the novel by Nobel Prize-winner Elfriede Jelinek. I'd never have guessed from the film that the novel would be so hilarious. Yes, much of the storyline from the book is the same as the film, but Jelinek has a jaunty and whimsical way with metaphor and an eye for the ridiculous which makes the book a breezy read despite its subject matter. It's a lot like reading Boll or Hrabal or Kafka, whose themes were dark and whose characters were twisted, but who managed great humor at the same time.
I would recommend this novel. The mother is one of the great spirit devourers in literature. She's right out of Gormenghast Castle.