Sunday, February 10, 2008

Music, Clarisse and Walter

It seems as though when Clarisse and Walter are playing the piano, the are perfectly in tune with one another; however, this appears to be the only time that we see the two "enjoying" one another's company. It is interesting that the two are with each other only when "perfect" music is played. As Beethoven's symphony was concidered to be the ultimate work of musical art, it is rather sad that Clarisse and Walter are only together when they play this. I see this as Clarisse having too high of expectations as she is not able to enjoy Walter unless everything is perfect.

Even when Walter plays Wagner, Clarisse pays no attention to him, because the music is not perfect. In Clarisse's mind, Walter is only worth paying attention to when he shows his "genious" by playing Beethoven; however, when Walter plays Wagner, Clarisse looks down on him, as if he is trying to insult her with such plain music.

Clarisse comes off to be very cold when you look at their marriage this way, as everything must be her way before she is willing to respond at all. How their marriage continues, I have no idea, but I believe Clarisse thinks that Walter will become a genius in due time, as long as she continues to "show" him the right thing to do by ignoring him when he does the wrong thing. Perhaps she believes that she will eventually have a Beethoven all to herself, so they can make beautiful music together.

1 comment:

Brooke Bowen said...

Do you think the Wagner/Beethoven duality is an attempt to characterize marriage in general, or just this marriage of two "geniuses" (Musil states Clarisse is becoming more of a genius than Walter, and her technical ability at the piano is trumping his)?

I don't find Clarisse's dislike of Wagner to be snobbish; it seems like she is opposed to Walter playing Wagner because it is not philosophically compatible with her Nietzschean views of genius (though that sounds incredibly snobby as I write it).