Please do not beat the pianist!

At the beginning of the 2000s, the novel “The Pianist” thundered thanks to the film of the same name by Michael Haneke (it was released almost simultaneously with the film “The Pianist” by Roman Polanski), and when retelling its plot, of course, the viewers paid attention primarily to the most scandalous moments.
In those days, the following conversation was quite likely:
– Have you watched “The Pianist”?
– “The Pianist”? Do you mean “The Pianist” by Roman Polanski?
– No, “The Pianist” by Michael Haneke.
– Hm … It seems not.
– Can you imagine, there is the main character … well … she is a masochist and she likes to hurt herself with a razor THERE …

But let’s return o the book. The author not only skillfully describes reality – no, she also analyzes and systematizes it, and does it as bitingly and harshly as possible, using complex phrases that are deep in meaning and structure. The author not only describes reality skillfully – no, she also analyzes and systematizes it, and does it as bitingly and harshly as possible, using complex phrases that are deep in meaning and structure. This innovative prose, refined on the verge of paradox and sophisticated on the verge of understanding, is rethinking sarcastically the very stereotypes of usual human behavior.

Sometimes, somewhere at the very top, on the final round of the next metaphor, there are such bold analogies that seem not entirely justified and obvious – somewhat reminiscent, if you use the appropriate musical terminology, false notes, which causes something like annoyance in the reader’s soul – however, perhaps these comparisons, on the contrary, are as fresh as possible and give the narrative the necessary volume, and therefore it is better not to think about their irrelevance, but, on the contrary, to admire their originality.

SHE is a tired dolphin, indifferently preparing for the final trick, wearily fixing with her gaze a funny multi-colored ball, which the animal picks up on its nose with its usual movement.

The world of children’s constructors is opening up before her. .. She thinks hard and slowly. A dead lead weight hangs on it. Brake shoe. She is a weapon turned against herself that will never fire. She is a vice made of tin.

Erica soars on the wings of art in the high air corridors, rising almost to the ether .. Her mother looks around in search of a brake rope for her daughter, for this kite. Just don’t let it go, just don’t let go of the rope!

A cold, icy wind blew out, and she runs into the ice fields, dressed in a short dress, like a skater, white boots with skates on her feet … The endless blue ribbon of her skirt begins to sway, carefully fold into frills.

Jelinek’s reasoning moves along a trajectory that is not always easily traceable, temperamentally illustrated by impressive metaphors and accompanied by unexpectedly bold pictures written out with all the details – here we see visitors to an ice cream parlor or families with children relaxing in the Prater Park, here on the ice a skater in a skirt with a blue edging is performing, and here is an almost ready-made guidance to the arrangement of school washrooms …
Over time, the number of such deviations from any linear narrative so much exceeds the critical mass that, in general, one involuntarily has to recall those times of his adolescence, when with greedy eyes you look out for “racy” details in the text, by default considering everything else as something terribly boring and insipid.

As for the “racy” details, they are very specific here – it is not for nothing that this novel attracted the attention of Michael Haneke himself. And, besides, they are somewhat instructive.

It seems that Erica is the obedient daughter of her mother, after the next chamber concert dreaming to quickly return to her sweet nest and sit in her favorite chair in front of the TV …
“There is the only one source of light lit in Erika’s head, from which it is as bright as day all around and which illuminates the sign with the inscription ‘Exit’. A comfortable chair in front of the TV pulls his hands towards her, the soft callsigns of the news program are heard, the announcer busily straightens his tie. On the side table there are vases with delicacies that amaze the imagination with their abundance and colors, and both ladies, alternately or simultaneously, resort to their services.”

But no! It turns out that over and over again something persistently forces Erica to rush around the city like a meteor in the most strange places such as peep shows, showing films of light porn or remote forest clearings for copulating couples in an attempt to see something that remained incomprehensible to her in the very core of the female body and in the mechanism of the interlacing of two bodies …
“A man, Erika thinks, should often have the feeling that a woman is hiding something important from him in this jumble of internal organs. It is it, the most intimate, that spurs Erika, pushes to consider everything new, deeper, more forbidden. “
Probably, the writer herself is interested in looking for such emotional zest against the background of measured philistine life in a respectable prosperous European city – the capital of music.

And when a man appeared in the life of the main character Erica, she thought about how she could use “his services” in the most effective way. Erica had already managed to study herself a little in this matter, and her imagination generated some fantasies in which her desire to obey to the partner and her interest in experiencing pain would be realized. The heroine, not too experienced in love relationships, did not come up with anything better than to tell her potential lover naively and straightforward about her fantasies …

After all, Erica is generally a rather uncompromising woman – this is the way, in a moment of emotional experience, she plays her instrument, which her fingers have long become a continuation of:
“She gathers with all her strength, strains her wings and rushes forward, right at the keys, which are rushing swiftly towards her, like the earth flies towards a plane in disaster.”

…You may wonder – and what about him, her lover?
Will there be a happy end and a “kiss on the diaphragm” in this story? 

Let us feel the excitement of the heart when reading the denouement of this uncommon love story.

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