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Strange contracts: Elfriede Jelinek and Michael Haneke
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 19:05 authored by Vicky Lebeau
This essay explores the representation of sexuality and vision in Elfriede Jelinek's Die Klavierspielerin [The Piano Teacher] (1983) and Michael Haneke's La Pianiste (2001). In its focus on the relation between Mother and Erika, Die Klavierspielerin brings right to the fore the grounding of both sexuality and visuality in the ongoing ties between mother and child. Displacing that novel onto the screen, Haneke redoubles its focus on vision. It is in the convergence between the two that we can begin to explore what may be described as the maternal dimension of the various technologies of vision that have come to pervade the everyday experience of looking—their effect on our ways of understanding the relations between visuality and selfhood, visuality and mind.
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