Sunday, February 10, 2008

Music in The Man Without Qualities

It seems that the only time that Walter and Clarisse are in unity is when they are at the piano playing together. Walter clearly has a passion for playing the piano and playing Wagner, Clarisse loves the fact that Walter has a passion for the piano and one has to wonder if Clarisse is with him because of him or because how he plays the piano. There is an interesting part in the book when Walter is at the piano and Clarisse and Ulrich are in the other room. Walter can hear them talking and enjoying themselves while he is left alone with his piano. It is almost as Walter sits at his piano and plays hoping the Clarisse will hear the piano and come spend time with him instead, as Walter is extremely jealous of Ulrich. Music is what brought Walter and Clarisse together and it seems that the music is no longer strong enough, that Clarisse has found something else she is interested in, in Ulrich's idealogy.

1 comment:

Mina said...

This is an interesting insight of the role of music in the relationship of Walter and Clarisse. I like how you look at how Walter uses music to strengthen (and unfortunately weaken) their relationship.

Considering how Walter describes Ulrich, I don't deny either that he is somewhat jealous of him. When I was reading the book, though, I almost thought that Walter was jealous of Nietzsche as well, because Clarisse is so possessed by his ideology. I also wondered if Clarisse hating Wagner had something to do with Nietzsche coming to despise Wagner after being friends with him for some time... Which, if that is the case, means that Nietzsche is influencing Clarisse on a musical level, which is a basis of their relationship, and which is something that even Ulrich did not influence.