Wonderful, Wonderful Times

Classics Club #3: “Wonderful, Wonderful Times” by Elfriede Jelinek
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The book is violent and rough with its pessimism. There are occasionally some funny parts, but they also make you cry while laughing. It is not an easy read, I myself felt a bit sick after reading the last five pages. The daughter, being a piano teacher, starts a strange affair with one of her students, resulting in disaster. Here Jelinek uses parenting to illustrate the brutal affect fascism has on the ordinary person as well as criticizing over-bearing parenting. All these novels are worth checking out. I believe Jelinek is one of the most interesting writers of our times.

In her best writing each sentence is comparable to a brief and concise philosophical statement and argument. A writer and arguer of, and for, the oppressed her philosophical stances are hard and critical while explicating a true and dreadful compassion and feeling of the existential horror of this position of the subjugated and exploited. Her writings, though, have triggered some animosity which is odd to me, and I would guess to you as well , what do others would love to know feel about her work?

As you said, it helps to deal with the tough issues she speaks of. Few writers have done what she did with the book, exploring the darkest parts of a sick youth in such a detailed and merciless way… your right, it is a wonder book! But hard to handle at times, which in a way in my opinion makes the reading experience so good.

Thank you! A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love: Without a doubt, the novels of Nobel Prize winning Elfriede Jelinek for this one maybe not popular, but most certainly infamous. For a more in-depth view into my opinion on her work, go here.

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It is Jelinek's fifth book. A film adaptation of the novel was released in The novel follows a group of four Viennese teens during the s as they violently engage with the previous generation's Post-World War II legacy. The novel does not use traditional chapter demarcations and focuses largely on the internal thoughts of the characters.

Through the portrayal of the Austrian family Witkowski, the reader is able to see the relation between daily fascism with the family and an undigested Austrian National Socialist history. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Elfriede Jelinek. Understood and accepted.

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For me, however, it was a confirming piece of drip-drab fiction that only reiterated my original assessment of her after reading the perennial fan favorite, The Piano Teacher, a butcher job of a novel if ever there was one. This novel could take second honors, however. Set in the s after WWII, Austria is trying to assume an air Published in , Wonderful Wonderful Times is a novel whose title is a complete contradiction to anything of what the book is indicative of. Set in the s after WWII, Austria is trying to assume an air of normality and goodness, letting the past be the past and keeping the ghosts of history forcibly at bay.

There are no spillover ramifications from the atrocities of war. In truth, that is untrue, but the character elders in Jelinek's stiff and poorly written and unconvincing novel would be hard pressed to have it otherwise, for their contaminated "children" are defects of a dark and wanted closeted history, poisoned brats who are extensions of the prior Hitlerian generation, perhaps a new "lost" generation.

By using internal thoughts and musings, Jelinek creates a battered, soulless, snotty teen world, pumped up with lust and all the trappings that so commonly ensnare youths with their more-often-than-not unfounded angst and bitterness. Forget the dark nether reaches of the goth world and the escapist play games of the mentally demented, for the four direct characters: Rainer Witkowski, his sister Anna, Hans Sepp and Sophie, their world is the here and right now. It is the prowling and the attacking, the lying and the arrogant indifference, the self-absorption and the truthfulness in all the horror of the above said actions, the Nazi element being in all of those traits that fostered the cruel lunacy of human evil.

Classics Club #3: “Wonderful, Wonderful Times” by Elfriede Jelinek – Michael Mingo's Blog

The teens are not retaliatory of the past. They are a modernized re incarceration of it. And herein is Elfriede Jelinek's greatest shortcoming.

Her plot is simply unconvincing and poorly strung together, an altogether limp and trite piece of nonsense, just like the unremarkable The Piano Teacher. The characters who have the potential for something greater are obviously stunted, even deliberately so, but their attempts at unmasking the hypocrisy of those in their immediate environment and even further away falls way too short, and no amount of ad-libbed "justified" philosophy as preached by Rainer compels those actions to be any more right than wrong. They are not preachers of reflection and healing. They are punks. They don't even come close.

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It is just too ridiculous and stupid, and I found myself saying, Give me a break! Mediocrity of this nature could be taught in a creative writing class. This was dystopian fiction at its worst, and Anthony Burgess-were he still alive-could have taught Jelinek a thing or two. Not long ago, members of the Nobel Academy were asked if mistakes had been made in who had and who had not been selected to be a Nobel laureate, for Jelinek was so honored in for the "musical flow of voices and counter-voices He said that some authors should not have been selected, but he stopped short as to mentioning who specifically.

It made me wonder if it was a not-too-subtle swipe at Jelinek's surprise selection, for an academy member did resign his post due to his very strong beliefs in her lack of literary merit. If a reader must pick up this book, be wowed not by its supposed merit and accolades, be stupefied by its pretentiousness and sloppiness.

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Sep 23, Julian rated it it was amazing. Nov 10, Brian rated it really liked it Shelves: read , nobel.

wonderful, wonderful times

Wonderful, Wonderful Times (German: Die Ausgesperrten) is a novel by Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek, published in by Rowohlt Verlag. It is Jelinek's fifth. Wonderful, Wonderful Times book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. “Isto é brutalidade contra uma pessoa indefesa, e, por.

It took me quite a few pages to understand and adapt to her writing style but once I did this book became an interesting but uncomfortable read. A decade and a half after WW2 and ex-Nazis and concentration camp survivors are left in the past with their terrible secrets while their children roam the streets of Vienna carving out a new and oft times more brutal society.

Even when I bang my head on my desk my thoughts stay imprisoned; neither being receptive or giving… I'll probably give this author a bit more attention. This book was crafted differently. The viewpoint roamed from one character to the next. Dialog was written without quotations or breaks in lines and who said what was indicated by name in parentheses. Reading the book, I felt like a little spirit flitting through the thoughts and actions of each character. This technique put me on the street with the players; I was part of their group.

But getting that close to the characters was a bit uncomfortable Shelves: germanlanguage. The first thing that always strikes me about Jelinek's work is how she manages to use such "dirty" language.

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I naturally don't mean cursing, but I do mean her inexplicable ability to always use the exact word in a situation that leaves the reader feeling as if they need to shower after her writing. This characteristic comes across to me, even a non-native German speaker, and seems intrinsic to her writing style. That said, this ability is a very good once since she writes about "dirty" things. N The first thing that always strikes me about Jelinek's work is how she manages to use such "dirty" language.

Wonderful, Wonderful Times

Not necessarily inhuman, but certainly nonsocial, the darkest parts of human interaction. Perhaps the most striking part is that she does so as if a passive observer, merely telling the facts and actions as they occur, with little speculation as to the motivations of the reader a technique which only works for her in light of the fact that almost all books these days explore the internal landscapes of the protaganists and ultimately leave the reader feeling very ambiguous about their narrator.

Also, without giving away any spoilers, it is my personal belief that this book is about change, and the dangers of being unable to do so in light of darkness. This was a bleak and horrifying book, but also an impressive one. I haven't read anything else by this author, not even her more famous book, The Piano Teacher.

It took me quite a while to get into the writing style, which has a stream of consciousness on drugs feel to it. The point of view leaps from character to character and the thoughts run together in a way that is disorienting throughout, but in the skilled hands of this author, manages to work. Still, the book describes violence and sex q This was a bleak and horrifying book, but also an impressive one.

Still, the book describes violence and sex quite graphically and is not for the feint of heart. Throughout, discussions of philosophy accurate and inaccurate readings both are interspersed with discussions of the mundane and the horrifying. These characters are not sympathetic at all, but they are compelling. Aug 25, Myles rated it it was ok. I don't know, Elfriede. I'm a big fan of your twisted Austrian sadistravaganzas, but this one just seemed kind of puerile and angsty.

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Could have been written by a particularly precocious little goth girl with a hypocritical contempt for the bourgeoisie. I will say, reading you and Thomas Bernhard and watching the movies of Michael Haneke and Ulrich Seidl has forever tainted my understanding of your country; I was in Vienna recently, and as I considered all of the staid, impeccably dressed locals I don't know, Elfriede. I will say, reading you and Thomas Bernhard and watching the movies of Michael Haneke and Ulrich Seidl has forever tainted my understanding of your country; I was in Vienna recently, and as I considered all of the staid, impeccably dressed locals, I had to wonder what sick shit they were concealing behind those strudel-munching smiles.

Oct 30, Ciaran Monaghan rated it really liked it Shelves: around-the-world Austria in the post-war period has closed the door on the past and has not had any sort of reckoning with its history. No one is happy; Nazis have lost their former 'glory' and respect, their former enemies did not see the Nazis punished and the young people have no future. The main characters are a group of teens who are set to leave high school and are starting to contemplate their future, or lack of it. They are anarchists and nihilists who think the whole world needs to be torn down, or at l Austria in the post-war period has closed the door on the past and has not had any sort of reckoning with its history.

They are anarchists and nihilists who think the whole world needs to be torn down, or at least that's what they tell themselves. But, really, it is all an act. Their anarchism, for example, is really no more than an opportunity to justify theft and to afford nice things.