Maestro: - By Peter Goldsworthy - Study Guide Background information on the writer - Peter Goldsworthy This is his first book. Prior to writing this he had been writing peotry. These days Peter Goldsworthy has been said to think of this book as an immature attempt at writing. Main themes: 1. Exploration of Human Relationships Between - Age and Youth - Child and Parent - Husband and Wife - Adolescent Boys and Girls - The members of the schoolyard sub-cultures - People generally and their physical environment Relationships are linked and overlap each other 2. - Love - Learning - Quest for perfection (Success/Failure) - Music - Culture Background on book's settings: - Darwin is remote and traditionally a non-cultural society - Late 19th Century Vienna was the centre of European cultural life (also early 20th Century). Most talent at that time came from Vienna, and of those most were Jewish. With the arrival of Hitler, and the Holocaust, many of Vienna's talented people lost their jobs and were sent off to concentration camps - Keller didn't flee Vienna as he thought if he became important enough (which he became very important and came to play for Hitler), his Jewish wife and son would be safe. This was not to be the case Maestro (Eduard Keller) He is: * Talented * Keeps himself remote/removed from others by not showing - certain feelings or acting kindly * Lacks the ability to compliment/praise and encourage others * An obscure, mysterious character (enigmatic) * An alcoholic * Cultured (contrast to Darwin) - Keller's white clothing may indicate his real, but hidden goodness. This "whiteness" is like holiness. This is a total contrast though to his self-perception - Keller constantly collects clippings of newspaper articles. It seems he liked to study the behaviour of others to help him understand him self - He believed that being a famous german citizen would save his jewish wife and child from the Nazi's. But this was not to be the case. How could this mistake occured? - From this rigid, unhappy character Paul managed to find something there, which he came to love. What nature of love did Paul feel for Keller? Paul Crabbe He is: * Adaptable * Witty * And for an Australian Teenager, quick and clever with the rhetoric * Talented (But not to the degree his parent's think he is) * At time he is arrogant * Cultured - Paul doesn't accept Bennie Reid, at the same time Reggie Lim doesn't accept him till Paul shows how he can adapt to their style of music and contribute to it. From Paul adapting, him and the others gain something in common ground, but this is at paul's convenience. This contrast adds a different dimension to the story, and is evident till the end - When the novel starts he is 15 years old, arrogant and self-centered at times. He comes from a well educated family. This is a contrast considering the place they are living in is Darwin. Darwin is considered as 'low-culture' place, while Paul's family is 'high culture' - The people in the Band Paul joins are not the type of people he would naturally hang around - He is very aware of others and their games, such as the ones his parent's play with him, but he is not very self-perceptive though It can also be seen in Paul's understanding of Keller, from getting an incomplete picture of Keller, from what he does. Girl's in Paul's life: Megan Rosie - A user - Healthy | - Plump - Passionate Lover - Conniving - Fresh | - Good person - Intelligent - Emotionally Shallow | - Idolizes Paul - Expects to be desired | - Generous - Good Looks - Popular | Personal Themes concerning Paul & Keller: - Maturity, Understanding and self-discovery - Quest for perfection (also a theme of the novel) - Romance and Love (also a theme of the novel) - Escapism (Especially Keller) - Teaching and Learning - The effects of betrayal and guilt - Ambition - Nostalgia and memories of the past - Coping with grief and loss Social Issues raised: - The role of music in Society - Culture - Attitudes to violence and cruelty Types of Language used: * Poetic descriptions * Adjectives Teaching: Character: What they taught Paul: Keller Music Paul Band Megan Sex Rosie Love Keller Life - Moulded, guiding, shows reality and it's limitations to Paul Learning: Paul - Music Keller - Learns humility - Love - Less harsh - Life - reality - Opens up more Summary of Plot: 1968: * Development of Paul to Adult * Shows more involvement in friends and Darwin, School and life * Paul <-> Keller - Change in Relationship | | | Becomes less secretive - shows emotional side Becomes more curious about Keller - pesters for information about Keller * Paul asks questions about Vienna from intrest in performing there * Keller's response about Vienna - "... a city of show veneer" (pg.65) - "The experimental Labratory for the end of the World" * Keller reads fascinating, horrorfying, grotesque, ugly in his scrapbook - deals with human suffering. With these books he hopes to learn from others mistakes. His inner reasons for this are probably to gain some sort of relief, or find some clues about his wife * "If only at your age I had such text books" - reference to books given to Paul showing him the horror of war, something keller wish he saw at Paul's age * Kellers behaviour at concert: - Keller openely betray's grief - Loss of self-control - Shows emotional side * On going to one lesson, as Paul is walking up the stairs to Keller's room for his lesson, he hears Keller playing. Paul is moved by the beauty of the music. But this reminds Keller of his wife, as he plays it, which causes him grief * "Dont trust the beautiful" - Keller * Relationship with Rosie * 'Sexual relationship' with Megan Adelaide: * Paul joins the school band 'Ruff Stuff' to annoy Keller. In this Paul has control over band members more popular than him. In the band is: Jimmy Pappas (popular), Scott (megan's boyfriend) * Enters his first piano competition - doesn't succeed (comes 3rd) * "Paul is my best student, yes. One in a thousand, but a concert Pianst one in a million." - Keller thinks of Paul as a promising student, so Keller didn't want Paul to leave yet * Stage of final meeting between Keller and Paul (in which Keller has planned earlier, and in preperation re-aranges his house/room). * Paul is at the beginning of adult life * In this final meeting, Keller is ready to open up, and say all his secrets. This is also the last time Rosie is to be in Darwin. Paul's aroused sexual preference overwealms him and he leaves Keller before Keller can open up - at the point Keller was FINALLY ready, he left to go to Rosie. Last Section - 1974 - Vienna, 1975, 1977: (Coda - Completed / End) * No light relief (serious) * End of book is an anticlimax (in some people's opinion) * Nothing new discovered * Paul will never ever be the genius he wanted to be. Reflects back on his life of a wasted ambition of perfection, a musical perfection he never achieved, only a technical one. Return to last menu
Converted on 22 Jul 1996 with RexxDoesAmigaGuide2HTML by Michael Ranner.