Sunday, September 9, 2007
Milan Kundera (1929-)
Metaphors are dangerous. Love begins with a metaphor. Which is to say, love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory.
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Milan Kundera is a Czech writer, (born April 1, 1929). He has lived in France since 1975, and has been a French citizen since 1981. Kundera, along with other Czech artists and writers such as Vaclav Havel, was involved in the 1968 Prague Spring, that brief period of reformist optimism that was eventually crushed by pro-Soviet forces. In his first book, The Joke, he gave a satirical account of the nature of totalitarianism in the Communist era. After 1968 Kundera fled to France. Until 1984 his novels all took place in Czechoslovakia. After that time his novels became more cosmopolitan, with a more explicit philosophical content.
Kundera now writes in French. The novel Immortality is the clearest expression of his work from both times. His works include: The Joke (1967; Eng. trans., 1982); Laughable Loves, a collection of short stories originally published in the 1960s (Eng. trans., 1974); The Farewell Party, 1976; The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979; Eng. trans., 1980); Life Is Elsewhere (1969; Eng. trans., 1974); The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984; Eng. trans., 1984); Immortality, 1990; Slowness, 1994; Identity, 1998; Ignorance, 2000. [This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Milan Kundera.]
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