alfabetik (alfabetik) wrote in katarsisglace,

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A little silence never hurts, but it has been a bit too silent here lately. What have you people been reading? Have you found any brilliant pieces of literature you think your fellow Franz admires should definitely read?

For those interested in mother-child relationships I can tell the following: Chuck Palahniuk's Choke and Elfriede Jelinek's Die Klavierspielerin (The Piano Teacher) both handle the theme in ways of prose. If you are faint of heart, I probably wouldn't recommend either one the novels to you, because they both describe the grotesque side of human nature. Palahniuk does it more gently, more comedically, and if you like your humour black, you'll find yourself laughing at people that in real life shouldn't make you laugh. Jelinek's novel, on the other hand, is a satire, but it is so bitterly cold and aggressively feministic that laughing is hardly an appropriate reaction.

The both books are also about sexual behaviour. While Choke's protagonist is a hopeless, yet somehow heart-warming sex addict Victor Mancini -- despite everything I really started to like him in a way -- The Piano Teacher's main character, the piano teacher Erika Kohut, is a character not easy to like. Jelinek describes our world with sharp teeth: women are for men's pleasure only; the only way to escape the reality is pornography.

Mother's influence on her child is brought up in both Choke and The Piano Teacher. Victor Mancini's mother is maybe a little scary character, mainly because mothers like her do exist -- mothers who escape from jail and steal their kids back from the foster family. Erika Kohut's mother is quite horrifying. The whole scenario of Erika, who in her late thirties still lives with her over-protective mother, is far from an idyll.

Briefly, if you aren't afraid of twisted relationships, I recommend you both of these books. Jelinek's novel is much more heavier and pessimistic, but it is absolutely worth reading. Palahniuk is lighter and brighter, but still sharp. Enjoy.
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