“Lust is a novel about rape in marriage, and…about power relationships within marriage. It tells the story of Gerti, who is trapped in a sexually and psychologically abusive relationship—it’s unflinching and it’s possibly the most relentless of Jelinek’s novels, which is saying quite a lot. I don’t think Jelinek is interested in plot. She’s not even interested in psychology. She does play a lot with fairy tales—she has written a series of works for theatre that are sometimes referred to as the Princess Plays, or the Princess Dramas, and which deconstruct figures like Snow White or Jackie Kennedy. And I suppose there is a simplicity to the narrative structure, that is fable-like. But it’s the darkest version of a fairy tale, in which daily violence is a key part. It’s more Brothers Grimm than Disney.” Read more...
Katie Kitamura on Marriage (and Divorce) in Literature