An attempt to portray the horror of certain men's brutal sexual domination of women, this novel by the German author of 'The Piano Teacher' tells the story of Gerti, a woman who turns in revulsion from her husband to a younger man, only to discover that he too wishes to treat her unkindly.
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In a quaint Austrian ski resort, things are not quite what they seem.
Hermann, the manager of a paper mill, has decided that sexual gratification begins at home. Which means Gerti his wife and property. Gerti is not asked how she feels about the use Hermann puts her to. She is a receptacle into which Hermann pours his juices, nastily, briefly, brutally.
The long-suffering and battered Gerti thinks she has found her saviour and love in Michael, a student who rescues her after a day of vigorous use by her husband. But Michael is on his way up the Austrian political ladder, and he is, after all, a man.
In Elfriede Jelinek's mitteleuropa, love is as distant from sex as the Alps are from the sea, and the everyday mechanics of husband, wife, and child, become a loveless horror. Both a condemnation of the myth of romantic love and an angry defence of women's sexuality, Lust is pornography for pessimists.
A bestseller throughout Europe, Lust conforms Elfriede Jelinek as the most challenging writer female or male in Europe today. It is a dark, dazzling performance.