Eight years into Hanna’s term in prison, Michael makes a series of cassette tapes of himself reading books aloud to her. The tapes are, in a way, a resurrection of their previous relationship, as Michael would always read aloud to Hanna before they slept together. Though the cassettes represent Michael’s continuing connection to Hanna and his way of speaking to her, they also represent Michael’s distance. Michael never leaves Hanna any personal messages on the tapes nor writes back to her when she finally learns how to read. The tapes form the “small niche, certainly an important niche” that Michael dedicates to Hanna, but no more than that.
Cassette Tapes Quotes in The Reader
I also read books I already knew and loved. So Hanna got to hear a great deal of Keller and Fontane, Heine and Morike. For a long time I didn't dare to read poetry, but eventually I really enjoyed it, and I learned many of the poems I read by heart. I can still say them today.
Taken together, the titles in the notebook testify to a great and fundamental confidence in bourgeois culture. I do not ever remember asking myself whether I should go beyond Kafka, Frisch, Johnson, Bachmann, and Lenz, and read experimental literature, literature in which I did not recognize the story or like any of the characters. To me it was obvious that experimental literature was experimenting with the reader, and Hanna didn't need that and neither did I.