The book of laughter and forgetting
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan KunderaAuthor Milan Kundera knows the truth of this statement firsthand. After participating in the Czech reform movement known as the Prague Spring—which Kundera wrote about in his smash hit The Unbearable Lightness of Being —he found himself on the wrong side of a totalitarian Communist regime. Sure, he lost his teaching position and any hope of a normal life. But worse for him was the removal of his books from Czech libraries; it was as if he had been erased from the history of his country. It's no wonder, then, that Kundera focuses so strongly on the fragility of memory in his work, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
In , while exiled in France, the Czechoslovakian writer Milan Kundera wrote a novel destined to become an international success. Forbidden to be published in his homeland, Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting was written in Czech but first published in French as Le livre du rire et de l'oublie in It was subsequently translated into English and published in the United States in Although the book is generally classified as a novel, it does not have the traditional structure of beginning, middle, and end. Rather, the seven parts of the book have individual characters and different plot lines.
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And translations really matter with Kundera — he is notoriously choosy, but approved of this one. Which, interestingly enough, was translated from the French translations of the original Czech. It is, indeed, a book of laughter and forgetting — themes which haunt the book like characters, offering the only unity available. Structurally, the book is divided into seven sections. But sections are not simple, discrete tales.
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is a novel by Milan Kundera, published in France in It is composed of seven separate narratives united by some.
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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. People are always shouting they want to create a better future. It's not true. The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it.
It is composed of seven separate narratives united by some common themes. The book considers the nature of forgetting as it occurs in history, politics and life in general. The stories also contain elements found in the genre of magic realism. It was finished in and was then published in France under the title: Le Livre du rire et de l'oubli in The English translation was first published in the U. Knopf , Inc. Several sections of the book were printed in The New Yorker.