Peter Goldworthy's Maestro reaches its climax when Keller is about to reveal everything about his past to Paul. Paul realises afterwards that he "should have stayed, listened, poured out his schnapps, lubricated his tongue", "but the aroused, sexual present overwhelmed the past", and Paul left Keller and drove to Melbourne with Rosie.
In the beginning Paul is unimpressed with Keller and Labels him as a "Nazi". Even when Paul's parents discover how important and great Herr Keller is, Paul remains unmoved. Yet by the time Paul grows up his attitude has changed completely.
It is obvious from the start that there is something wrong with Keller. The drunkenness and his hate for the human race (shown by his collection of freak newspaper items), have nothing to do with economic problems. They are signs of the death of his spirit, and his loss of faith in human nature and himself, all of which are caused by his experience in the Holocaust.
In Keller's eyes he lost his loved ones through his own arrogance, and he feels that love has betrayed him.
Against Keller's will, Paul Crabbe draws him out of his self-imposed living death. Paul is in a sense like Keller when he was young and a reminder to Keller of his own lost son, Eric. Keller loved Paul even though he would never admit it, and as Paul grew so did his love for Keller.
The boy Paul is arrogant and self-indulgent. He takes from Keller and gives almost nothing back, and goes through life believing in the greatness of his destiny, regardless of the maestro's warnings. There are many clues that Paul is not great, but Paul refuses to believe it.
From the moment we meet Keller we want to know about his mysterious past, and as...