at the start of summer, i came across the book The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek at the used bookstore. a week later, i had finished the book, and had been left completely speechless by the story. for those of you who have yet to read it, i won't ruin it for you, but i will say that this story is one of the most disturbing, poignant, and affecting things i have ever read. months later, i am still so intrigued by this book and feel like it's something i need to read several times in order to really begin to understand the nuances and frailty of the human mind as a result of abuse, manipulation, and trauma... how good people go bad.
anyway, i ended up lending the book to my buddy heather, who is one of the most ferocious readers i've ever met, and shortly after we both discovered that the story had been made in to a film. based on our experiences with the book, we were both sort of scared to see the film. there are so many disturbing, traumatic events in the story of The Piano Teacher that i wasn't sure i'd actually be able to stomach seeing them portrayed on film. nevertheless, heather bought a copy (the director's cut, no less) and we watched it late friday night.
the biggest problem that the director was up against in converting the story to a screen play is that the first half of the book is pretty much one big inner monologue. 100 pages (at least) of thoughts, feeling, desires, and childhood memories that set the stage for understanding just how warped and abusive this particular mother/daughter relationship is and why the main character is so terribly broken. the background information supplied in the book was not dealt with at all in the film and ended up presenting the main character in a way that i don't think was at all fair to the story in general. the actress did a wonderful job with what she was given, but as a result, the reason for her insanity, need for degradation, punishment, and subjection was never dealt with. the character was merely presented as deranged (and in such an unsympathetic manner) which is NOT the point of the book. i was pretty let down by the film and, truth be told, if i hadn't known the story of The Piano Teacher and had randomly stumbled across this movie on showtime, i would've changed the channel. it was boring. as always, the book completely surpassed the film.
these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.
thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.
my artist website is here.
my artist website is here.