Other books byElfriede Jelinek
The first English translation of Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek's astonishing, provocative play, a post-dramatic theatrical exploration of the making, marketing and sale of the human body. It explores contemporary society's obsession with fitness and body culture, bringing into sharp focus our need to belong to a group, team, and nation.
The Piano Teacher
The most popular work from provocative Austrian Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek, The Piano Teacher is a searing portrait of a woman bound between a repressive society and her darkest desires. Erika Kohut is a piano teacher at the prestigious and formal Vienna Conservatory, who still lives with her domineering and possessive mother. Her life appears boring, but Erika, a quiet thirty-eight-year-old, secretly visits Turkish peep shows at night and watched sadomasochistic films. Meanwhile, a handsome, self-absorbed, seventeen-year-old student has become enamored with Erika and sets out to seduce her. She resists him at firstbut then the dark passions roiling under the piano teacher’s subdued exterior explode in a release of perversity, violence, and degradation.
In a quaint Austrian ski resort, things are not quite what they seem. Hermann, the manager of a paper mill, has decided that sexual gratification begins at home. Which means Gerti - his wife and property. Gerti is not asked how she feels about the use Hermann puts her to. She is a receptacle into which Hermann pours his juices, nastily, briefly, brutally. The long-suffering and battered Gerti thinks she has found her saviour and love in Michael, a student who rescues her after a day of vigorous use by her husband. But Michael is on his way up the Austrian political ladder, and he is, after all, a man.
Wonderful, Wonderful Times
'That's brutal violence on a defenceless person, and quite unnecessary, declares Sophie, and she pulls with an audible tearing sound at the hair of the man lying in an untidy heap on the ground. What's unnecessary is best of all, says Rainer, who wants to go on fighting. We ageed on that.' It is the late 1950s. A man is out walking in a park in Vienna. He will be beaten up by four teenagers, not for his money, he has an average amount ? nor for anything he might have done to them, but because the youths are arrogant and very pleased with themselves. Their arrogance is their way of reacting to the maggot?ridden corpse that is Austria where everyone has a closet to hide their Nazi histories, their sexual perversions and their hatred of the foreigner. Elfriede Jelinek, who writes like an angel of all that is tawdry, shows in Wonderful, Wonderful Times how actions of the present are determined by thoughts of the past.