Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Walter and Clarisse

Walter and Clarisse seem to have little in common except music. Music is what brings them together and simultaneously drives them apart. It represents their relationship's complex nature. When everything is ok, the music imitates their love and the sexual energy that is between them, for they share many interests and are definitely physically attracted to eachother. However, when Walter plays Wagner, she won't allow him to touch her for days. They play Beethoven together and both Clarisse and Walter are happy together. Walter is more talented than Clarisse, but her desire to excel leads her to practice for hours. Walter seems much more laid-back about almost everything. He is good at playing the piano, but it doesn't seem as though he had to work to be great. Clarisse, on the other hand, is driven and determined to perfect her skills. I thought it was interesting that she absolutely hated Wagner--I suppose she was no different from most people of the time, but that Walter knows she can't stand Wagner and yet he continues to play it is really interesting to me in the context of their relationship. It's like they're playing a game of slowly driving each other nuts, with brief interludes where they'll play "Ode to Joy" and everything will be ok for a while.


Lasica said...

I like your observations. I don't think that Walter is really "a genius." Without a doubt he is talented, but he has no "willpower," no real internal drive. He wants things to come easy and he doesn't want to work for them. On the contrary, Clarisse works hard to develop her talent. She resents his inability to really try to develop his talent, and she is angry that he would prefer to wallow in someone else's genius. They get along when they play Beethoven, but only because he is "classic" (i.e. old) music.

Dane Weitmann said...

I think your insight here is good. It does make one wonder why Walter would continue to play Wagner when he knows that the one he cares so deeply for hates it and will be angry with him for days for playing it. Also why would someone be so angry at someone else for playing a piece of music. They clearly have the passion for music in common but they do not have the same taste. I think that this somewhat reflects their relationship, they may have some general qualities in common but when you get to the specifics of those qualities they no longer have anything in common. Just enough to be together but maybe not enough to stay together?