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Nobel Prize in Literature (2004). Erika is a piano professor at a Vienna music conservatory. Although she is in her forties, she still lives in an apartment with her domineering mother; her father is a long-standing resident in a lunatic asylum. Erika is only able to "feel" by enacting cruel punishment on her students, whom she secretly detests. Upon meeting Walter, a charming 17-year-old engineering student, she becomes obsessed with him, though among colleagues she doubts his chances for a professional career; he is starting at too late a stage she feels. He is also a capable performer and shares in her appreciation for Schumann and Schubert. Behind her icy fa?ade, Erika is a sexually-repressed woman with a long list of sadomasochistic fetishes. Walter is very insistent in starting a relationship with her. However, when she finally acquiesces, Walter is unwilling to indulge her violent fantasies, which repulse him. The reality does not match Erika's internalized fantasies...
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