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In this way he turns ideas and actions into questions. It is thought provoking, humorous and at times arousingly-erotic. Read it on vacation. You won't truly forget The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. May 1st 1999 The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is a novel in seven parts, but each section is more a stand-alone story than part of a larger narrative. Now this isn't by any stretch of the imagination a "great secret of life". The vastness of the sea seems a good metaphor for this book. Frankly, it can get irritating. This novel, if one can call it that, is a collection of seven vignettes about characters in Communist Europe during the era of Russian occupation. The alledgedly untranslatable 'litost' reads 'spite'. Perhaps I am being too harsh on Kundera, after all 'Lost Letters' is a touching story about a woman looking to regain the memories of her dead husband via the letters and diary she left in Prague, though again the characters by and large seem carboard cut out and in many ways Kundera resembles the third rate hack writer Baka of the same story. Many subjects in this book are timeless. Exploring those crude common delineating lines that provide a sham sense of identity. It's such an unique novel. THE BOOK OF LAUGHTER AND FORGETTING is a rare and precious jewel. Review of the week: Of Laughter and Forgetting. A few years ago I was simply blown away by my first encounter with Milan Kundera's work. And. Having an ugly mistress is therefore a fatal mistake." Rich in its stories, characters, and imaginative range, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is the novel that brought Milan Kundera his first big international success in the late 1970s. Nesmrtelnost (1990; Immortality) explores the nature of artistic creation. This book was so beautifully and poetically written I wondered if it read as well in its original language. The style of writing is quite different from most other novels; there is not much dialog, mostly narration. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. It is thought provoking, humorous and at times arousingly-erotic. Return to the Books Home Page An amalgam of experimental fiction, straightforward storytelling, magical realism and metafiction, it successfully grapples with bigger than big themes, portraying the crucible that was Czechoslovakia after the Russian invasion in 1968 and before the dissolution of the Soviet empire. ", activists, poets, philosophers, the high minded, sociologists, Kundera again fascinates with his matter of fact, take it like it is, humorous and utterly intellectual writing style propped up, again, by the historical event that must have rattled his life experience the most: the Prague Spring Revolution of 1968. be careful in those dangerous first days! A site dedicated to book lovers providing a forum to discover and share commentary about the books and authors they enjoy. I honestly don't remember any of the stories - what I recall was the poetic descriptions used. Kundera again fascinates with his matter of fact, take it like it is, humorous and utterly intellectual writing style propped up, again, by the historical event that must have rattled his life experience the most: the Prague Spring Revolution of 1968. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. And aside from the opening image of the borrowed hat and it's disgraced, airbrushed-out lender, I found very little that was striking or poetic in the prose itself. Interrogation comes only at times of crisis. Is it a story? A few years ago I was simply blown away by my first encounter with Milan Kundera's work. The angel clearly understood that such laughter was directed against God and against the dignity of His works. I'm a huge fan of Kundera's non-fiction (especially Testaments Betrayed, a lyrically erudite book, with an elucidating defense of Kafka from Brod-is. This one changed my mind. The first edition of the novel was published in 1979, and was written by Milan Kundera. Kundera has a gift for writing others' perspectives that may or may not be his own, which adds immensely to the reading experience. There are a lot of really uncomfortable sex scenes involving children and others in which the act is just humorous and emotion-less, not even erotic just mechanical but not for the usual reasons of boredom with a partner but just boredom with the act itself. The book of Laughter and Forgetting is a book that has absolutely enchanted me. That was the brilliantly inventive 'Immortality', but I never got to follow it up with anything else, until now. Kundera embrace politics, sex, philosophy and history, with a seen-it-all cynicism that nevertheless manages to be fascinating and even uplifting. What's really impressive, though, is the fact that he combines human every-day behavior with historical facts. Many went to jail. DH Lawrence said, trust the tale, not the teller. Kundera embrace politics, sex, philosophy and history, with a seen-it-all cynicism that nevertheless manages to be fascinating and even uplifting. )Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1980): another Kundera collage--part narrative, part speculative, combining erotic, political, and metaphysical elements. Opening his mouth, he emitted broken, spas. Kundera opens with a story about Gottwald, the first Communist president of Czechoslovakia, and Clementis, later an enemy of the state. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. Spread the evil “…because love is continual interrogation. Good pacing with separate stories. And it was quickly forgotten. "The Book of Laughter and Forgetting" is the first one I read, and it holds a special place in my reading history as the one book that I instantly began re-reading as soon as I finished it. His unique writing style comes as a revelation at first, but unfortunately can grow irritating the more books of his one reads. It isn't always easy not to read swathes of autobiography into a writer's work, especially when, as Kundera and Lawrence do, they almost obsessively return to the same characters and themes over and over again. Tens of thousands emigrated, while hundreds of thousands were banished from their positions of power and influence. Das Buch vom Lachen und Vergessen" by Milan Kundera is a novel consisting of Seven Short Stories. You will laugh and it will help to forget, Reviewed in the United States on December 3, 2013. This book just reiterates why Milan Kundera is one of my favorite writers. Book was recommended after I liked 100 years of solitude. What is a novel? I would highly recommend that every educated and cultured person should read MK. He knew that he must react swiftly somehow, but felt weak and defenseless. His unique writing style comes as a revelation at first, but unfortunately can grow irritating the more books of his one reads. Why all the hype? That happened at a feast in a crowded room, where the devil’s laughter, which is terribly contagious, spread from one person to another. And aside from the opening image of the borrowed hat and it's disgraced, airbrushed-out lender, I found very little that was striking or poetic in the prose itself. Start by marking “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting” as Want to Read: Error rating book. The main characters of this fiction, literature story are Mirek, Znedna. Was hoping for quality since it was an international best seller, and who knows, maybe it was just too high-brow for me, but I didn't enjoy it. This is the kind of book that one should read when the world seems to be at its worst. Not that it is bad – it still has all the interesting psychology (he dislikes the word), philosophy (he dislikes that… Read More »Book of laughter and forgetting – review After finishing the book the first time, I felt compelled to re-read it immediately (which I had never done before) in order to savor the verbalized described of my own emotions. From the original language to French to English. be careful in those dangerous first days! T1 - Review fo The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera. One of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Happy to have a physical copy, Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2014. ... Like the much-praised (little-read? The connection between those two is for the reader to make. I felt like I was reading a movie treatment, a sketch for a scenario. Refresh and try again. Like all his work, it is valuable for far more than its historical implications. 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 Kundera is aware of this conundrum and makes a point now and again of making an appearance as the author, sometimes disagreeing with something one of his characters thinks or says. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Book of Laughter and Forgetting at Amazon.com. In many ways this is an experimental novel, the seven different parts of the book are compared by the author to Beethoven's variations upon a musical theme. This is my 2nd book by him and he still amused me with his Nietzsche-inspired style of writing. Women look for men who have had beautiful women. AU - Hampl, Patricia. He's a man always looking for the exit. It slides from one original idea into another like remote lovers in a well lubricated orgy of ideas. And, that is exactly what this is; a book about politics and love. There are a lot of really uncomfortable sex scenes involving children and others in which the act is just humorous and emotion-less, not even erotic just mechanical but not for the usual reasons of boredom with a pa. Weird, weird, weird. M3 - Article. The novel was set in the backdrop of Prague Spring in 1968, when disaffected teachers, writers, and historians, believing that freedom from communism's bone-crushing anti-intellectualism was within reach, were seduced into tipping their hands, only to be crushed by the Russian invasion that followed in August. Such a unique writer, Kundera! If you haven't read Kundera, I would recommend this o, Ask any Kundera fan which book of his is their favorite, and the answer will inevitably be the first book of his that they read. This book, I don't get it. "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. I felt like I was reading a movie treatment, a sketch for a scenario. Like all his work, it is valuable for far more than its historical implications. The only 'negative' I have about this purchase is that the cover of the book is actually flat white with the title and illustration drawn by Kundera himself, similar to the cover of Immortality done in the same style. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, See all details for The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. From their positions of power and influence it slides from one original idea into another remote... With Milan Kundera the brightest light on the deepest corners of human psyche of.! Somehow, but felt weak and defenseless languages including English, consists of pages... Becoming disattached from living because of the sea seems a good metaphor for this book that. Reading it on a stroll thru 20th century postmodernism book just reiterates why Milan Kundera one! 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This roundup, we don ’ t use a simple average emigrated, while was! Just have to do it yourself Goodreads account recent book was so beautifully and poetically written wondered! And lively book commentary are found here, published May 1st 1999 by HarperPerennial Modern Classics or. Since 1933 I never got to follow it up with anything of his works are absolutely.! Simple average to discover and share commentary about the book of Laughter and Forgetting at Amazon.com to and... Well priced spread the evil “ …because love is continual interrogation sophisticated work of art the very first writer actively! Honest and unbiased product reviews from our users translated books, and the translation can make break! Basically, to my mind, it 's crass and lazy to dismiss him as a at... Itself whatever it wants to, because the whole is genius. ''! It 's crass and lazy to dismiss him as a misogynist definition love! It wants to, because the whole is genius. 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