In this novel - a story of irreconcilable loves and infidelities - Milan Kundera addresses himself to the nature of twentieth-century 'Being' In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. We feel, says the novelist, 'the unbearable lightness of being' - not only as the consequence of our private acts but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine.Juxtaposing Prague, Geneva, Thailand and the United States, this masterly novel encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, and embraces, it seems, all aspects of human existence. It offers a wide range of brilliant and amusing philosophical speculations and it descants on a variety of styles. In this classic novel Kundera draws together the Czechoslovakia of the Prague Spring and the Russian invasion, the philosophy of Nietzsche, and the love affairs of a number of heartbreakingly familiar characters.
'This book is a novel in the form of variations. The various parts follow each other like the various stages of a voyage leading into the interior of a theme, the interior of a thought, the interior of a single, unique situation the understanding of which recedes from my sight into the distance. It is a book about laughter and about forgetting, about forgetting and about Prague, about Prague and about the angels.' The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is the most secret of Kundera's novels. This new translation is the first to be fully authorized by Milan Kundera.
Casting light on the most serious of problems and at the same time saying not one serious sentence; being fascinated by the reality of the contemporary world and at the same time completely avoiding realism-that's The Festival of Insignificance . Readers who know Kundera's earlier books know that the wish to incorporate an element of the "unserious" in a novel is not at all unexpected of him. In Immortality , Goethe and Hemingway stroll through several chapters together talking and laughing. And in Slowness , Vera, the author's wife, says to her husband: "you've often told me you meant to write a book one day that would have not a single serious word in it... I warn you: watch out. Your enemies are lying in wait." Now, far from watching out, Kundera is finally and fully realizing his old aesthetic dream in this novel that we could easily view as a summation of his whole work. A strange sort of summation. Strange sort of epilogue. Strange sort of laughter, inspired by our time, which is comical because it has lost all sense of humor. What more can we say? Nothing. Just read.
This collection contains stories about the sport of love - Don Juanism, ageing, male and female power and seductions undertaken for all kinds of intriguing motives. Milan Kundera is author of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "The Book of Laughter and Forgetting".
A novel of irreconcilable loves and infidelities, which embraces all aspects of human existence, and addresses the nature of twentieth-century 'Being'. From the author of TESTAMENTS BETRAYED.
A novel by the author of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being". A moment of confusion sets in motion a complex chain of events which crosses and recrosses the divide between fantasy and reality.
The classic of literary criticism from one of the world's greatest novelists. In seven independent, but closely related chapters, Milan Kundera presents his personal conception of the European novel, which he describes as 'an art born of the laughter of God'. 'Invigoratingly suggestive . . . Kundera's map of the development of the European novel is outlined with the reckless brevity of the man who knows exactly what and where the salient points are.' London Review of Books 'Kundera is the saddest, funniest and most loveable of authors.' The Times
Klima, a celebrated jazz trumpeter, receives a phone call announcing that a young nurse with whom he spent a brief night at a fertility spa is pregnant. She has decided he is the father. And so begins a comedy which, during five madcap days, unfolds with ever-increasing speed. Klima's beautiful, jealous wife, the nurse's equally jealous boyfriend, a fanatical gynaecologist, a rich American, at once Don Juan and saint, and an elderly political prisoner who, just before his emigration, is holding a farewell party at the spa are all drawn into this black comedy, as in A Midsummer Night's Dream . As usual, Milan Kundera poses serious questions with a blasphemous lightness which makes us understand that the modern world has taken away our right to tragedy.