Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Piano Teacher : Elfriede Jelinek

At the outset, would like to thank the beautiful and generous Afsha Khan for allowing me to wax lyrical on her blog. Truly flattered.

Someone once said,"All good literature should make you feel uncomfortable". I am inclined to agree, read enough Stephen King and you will be craving for the uncomfortable that even a good hot chocolate and a bright light cannot cure. Within the first 3 pages of reading this nobel prize winning book, I am reaching for an oxygen mask. Anyway, the reason I am writing this so early in my reading day, is the uncanny resemblance between the first three pages and the mother-daughter relationship in the movie Black Swan. For those of you who haven't seen the movie, the relationship is central to the ensuing psychosis of the ballerina.

If you watch the movie and then read the first few pages of the book, you appreciate the power of the book versus a visual representation of the same situation in a movie. While the scenario was visibly unbearable for the ballerina in the film, it hardly made you twitch in your seat. The novel, on the other hand, has you, as I mentioned earlier, gasping for air. You want a break from the claustrophobic environment created by the almost feudatory mother. In three pages, Jelinek has hooked me by the navel and sucked me into a time machine. I am like that ditzy heroine in a horror movie who ventures into the basement alone while throats are being slashed and ears become charm bracelets.

And this is just three pages in!

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