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Through this story and its other, interconnected companions, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting beautifully illuminates the points in our lives at which identity – the very construction of our selves through memory – intersects with the political forces that are in conflict with it. It is a theme inseparable from the context in which Kundera was raised, the world of Soviet-era communism, a context which fascinated and to some extent baffled western observers in the 70s and 80s, and on which his novels seemed to open a unique window, bringing its complexities to life with unmatched irony, melancholy and intellectual rigour. No wonder that these novels seemed, on first publication, to be among the most essential literary documents of their time.
Dan Manoyan; Foreword by Pat Richter
The inseparability of form and content: this is the one of the things Kundera’s work teaches us. Writing in the novella Slowness about the most famous book of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, Kundera observes: “The epistolary form of is not merely a technical procedure that could easily be replaced by another. The form is eloquent in itself and it tells us that, whatever the characters have undergone, they have undergone for the sake of telling about it, for transmitting, communicating, confessing, writing it. In such a world, where everything gets told, the weapon that is both most readily available and most deadly is disclosure.”
Mass education may seem like a final realization of the principles of the Age of Reason – creating citizens that are broadly educated in different niches. However, with today’s boundaries imposed by expectations and the unrealistic perception of college education, the fundamentals of this classic theory turn against themselves. A flexible individual with clear interests and life goals should develop cognitive abilities in correlation with those aims.
SparkNotes: The Unbearable Lightness of Being
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SparkNotes: The Unbearable Lightness of Being: …
Why did those books seem so urgent, so indispensable at the time? Was it because they coincided fleetingly with the zeitgeist, or do they embody something more robust and enduring? How will history judge them? His reputation will rest, it seems fair to say, on the three great “middle period” novels: The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and . Before these, we have a triptych of serio-comic novels – The Joke, Life Is Elsewhere and Farewell Waltz – vividly evoking the milieu of postwar and communist-era Czechosolovakia without staking out a claim to the formal originality that would become Kundera’s hallmark. Afterwards, we have the trio of terse, slender novellas – Slowness, Identity and – whose very titles announce their philosophical leanings as much as their status as fictions.
Sep 20, 1998 · Alfred A
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Immortality (novel) - Wikipedia
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Blog Response (comment on my post, please)- Amy …
The middle-period books, however, are the ones that saw Kundera finding not just his distinctive literary voice but his perfect form. They are novels of exile, written in exile. He left Czechoslovakia in 1975, having by then been dismissed from his teaching position, deprived of the right to work, and seen his novels banned from public libraries. His arrival in Paris coincided with a significant change of literary direction. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting eschews traditional linear narrative and unfolds, instead, as a nest of interconnected stories, held together in part by a handful of recurring characters but more firmly by recurring themes, words, motifs. It was as if weighing the anchor of his homeland meant that Kundera had also freed himself from the bonds of formal convention. The novel had an incredible fluidity, an enviable relaxed ease in its transitions from storytelling to essay-writing and back again.