wonderful wonderful times by elfriede jelinek

From: red jones
Category: Books
Date: 24 December 2004



Jelinek won the noble prize this year. And the Swedish dyanmite fuddy duddies got it right with her and VS Naipual in 2001. Jelinek was previously more well known in anglo countries as the author who wrote the book of the film the piano teacher. Some of PT's themes are repeated in this, but it is much better than the movie.

It has an atmosphere which is unlike anything else I have read, as sort of ugly angry pessimism about human activity, the closest comparison would be the great hater Celine. It's about a gang of smart teenagers in Vienna in the 1950s, and even in translation it manages to authentically convey the thoughts of each as they live a sort of heightened horror of existential clowning, the seamless transitition between each characters consciousness is the most thrilling thing.

It leaves a bitter taste in the brain. And an exhilaration of reading some thing new for once.