Milan Kundera Famous Quotes & Sayings

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100 Milan Kundera Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

Milan Kundera Sayings: Then came time for her to marry. She had nine suitors. They all knelt round Then came time for her to marry. She had nine suitors. They all knelt round her in a circle. Standing in the middle like a princess, she did not know which one to choose: one was the handsomest, another the wittiest, the third was the richest, the fourth was most athletic, the fifth from the best family, the sixth recited verse, the seventh traveled widely, the eighth played the violin, and the ninth was the most manly. But they all knelt in the same way, they all had the same calluses on their knees.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: Eroticism is like a dance: one always leads the other. Eroticism is like a dance: one always leads the other.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: What I love in a woman is not what she is in and for herself, What I love in a woman is not what she is in and for herself, but the side of herself she turns towards me, what she is for me. I love her as character in our common love story. what wuld Hamlet be without the castle at Elsinore, without Ophelia, without all the concrete situations he goes through, what would he be without the text of his part? What would be left but an empty, dumb, illusory essence?
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Milan Kundera Sayings: But if God is gone and man is no longer master, then who is master? But if God is gone and man is no longer master, then who is master?
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Milan Kundera Sayings: In spite of their love, they had made each other's life a hell. The fact In spite of their love, they had made each other's life a hell. The fact that they loved each other was merely proof that the fault lay not in themselves, in their behavior or inconstancy of feeling, but rather in their incompatibility: he was strong and she was weak.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: The best actors do not let the wheels show. The best actors do not let the wheels show.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: Here he was, doing things he didn't care a damn about, and enjoying it. Here he was, doing things he didn't care a damn about, and enjoying it.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: Battles over job and career, over every picture published. She had never been ambitious out Battles over job and career, over every picture published. She had never been ambitious out of vanity. All she ever wanted was to escape from her mother's world. Yes, she saw it with absolute clarity: no matter how enthusiastic she was about taking pictures, she could just as easily have turned her enthusiasm to any other endeavour. Photography was nothing but a way of getting at 'something higher' and living beside Thomas.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: It's hard to live with people willing to send you to exile or death. It's It's hard to live with people willing to send you to exile or death. It's hard to become intimate with them. It's hard to love them.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: She regarded books as the emblems of secret brotherhood. A man with this sort of She regarded books as the emblems of secret brotherhood. A man with this sort of library couldn't possibly hurt her.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: Our historical experience teaches us that men imitate one another, that their attitudes are statistically Our historical experience teaches us that men imitate one another, that their attitudes are statistically calculable, their opinions manipulable, and that man is therefore less an individual (a subject) than an element in a mass.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: And then I realized how powerless I was to revoke my own joke when throughout And then I realized how powerless I was to revoke my own joke when throughout my life as a whole I was involved in a joke much more vast (all-embracing for me) and utterly irrevocable.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: The reign of imagology begins where history ends The reign of imagology begins where history ends
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Milan Kundera Sayings: ...Mirek rewrote history just like the Communist Party, like all political parties, like all peoples, ...Mirek rewrote history just like the Communist Party, like all political parties, like all peoples, like mankind. They shout that they want to shape a better future, but it's not true. The future is only an indifferent void no one cares about, but the past is filled with life, and its countenance is irritating, repellent, wounding, to the point that we want to destroy or repaint it. We want to be masters of the future only for the power to change the past." (P. 30)
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Milan Kundera Sayings: When he told F. of his disgust at the eyelid's movement, he must have been When he told F. of his disgust at the eyelid's movement, he must have been sixteen. When he decided to study medicine, he must have been nineteen; by then, having already signed on to the contract to forget, he no longer remembered what he had said to F. three years before. Too bad for him. The memory might have alerted him, might have helped him see that his choice of medicine was wholly theoretical, made without the slightest self- knowledge.
Thus he studied medicine for three years before giving up with a sense of shipwreck. What to choose after those lost years? What to attach to, if his inner self should keep as silent as it had before? He walked down the broad outside staircase of the medical school for the last time, with the feeling that he was about to find himself alone on a platform all the trains had left.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: She merely wished to find a way out of the maze. She knew that she She merely wished to find a way out of the maze. She knew that she had become a burden to him: she took things too seriously, turning everything into a tragedy, and failed to grasp the lightness and amusing insignificance of physical love. How she wished she could learn lightness! She yearned for someone to help her out of her anachronistic shell.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: But man, because he has only one life to live, cannot conduct experiments to test But man, because he has only one life to live, cannot conduct experiments to test whether to follow his passion (compassion) or not.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which is deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: They were happy not in spite of their sadness but thanks to it. They were happy not in spite of their sadness but thanks to it.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: Our lives may be separate, but they run in the same direction, like parallel lines. Our lives may be separate, but they run in the same direction, like parallel lines.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: If it were possible to raise the penis by means of a simple command, then If it were possible to raise the penis by means of a simple command, then sexual excitement would have no place in the world.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: Irena went to the window to savor the freedom of solitude. Irena went to the window to savor the freedom of solitude.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: To die; to decide to die; that's much easier for an adolescent than for an To die; to decide to die; that's much easier for an adolescent than for an adult. What? Doesn't death strip an adolescent of a far larger portion of future? Certainly it does, but for a young person, the future is a remote, abstract, unreal thing he doesn't really believe in.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: This symmetrical composition- the same motif appears at the beginning and at the end- may This symmetrical composition- the same motif appears at the beginning and at the end- may seem quite 'novelistic' to you, and I am willing to agree, but only on condition that you refrain from reading such notions as 'fictive,' 'fabricated,' and 'untrue to life' into the word 'novelistic.' Because human lives are composed in precisely such a fashion. They are composed like music. Guided by his sense of beauty, an individual transforms a fortuitous occurrence (Beethoven's music, death under a train), into a motif, which then assumes a permanent place in the composition of the individual's life ... Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress ... The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: Before we are forgotten, we will be turned into kitsch. Kitsch is the stopover between Before we are forgotten, we will be turned into kitsch. Kitsch is the stopover between being and oblivion.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: Darkness attracted him as much as light. He knew that these days turning out the Darkness attracted him as much as light. He knew that these days turning out the light before making love was considered laughable, and so he always left a small lamp burning over the bed. At the momemnt he penetrated sabina, however, he closed his eyes. The pleasure suffusing his body called for darkness. The darkness was pure, perfect, thoughtless, vision less; that darkness was without end, without borders; that darkness was the infinite we each carry within us.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: It is questions with no answers that set the limits of human possibilities" -- Pretty It is questions with no answers that set the limits of human possibilities" -- Pretty Wittgenstein like.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: The rediscovered path, where were left the traces of childhood's lost steps. The rediscovered path, where were left the traces of childhood's lost steps.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: Whenever I think about ancient cultures nostalgia seizes me. Perhaps this is nothing but envy Whenever I think about ancient cultures nostalgia seizes me. Perhaps this is nothing but envy of the sweet slowness of the history of that time. The era of ancient Egyptian culture lasted for several thousand years; the era of Greek antiquity for almost a thousand. In this respect, a single human life imitates the history of mankind; at first it is plunged into immobile slowness, and then only gradually does it accelerate more and more.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: Only the most naive of questions are truly serious. Only the most naive of questions are truly serious.
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Milan Kundera Sayings: Through the magical power of a dress she could see herself imprisoned in a life Through the magical power of a dress she could see herself imprisoned in a life she did not want and would never again be able to leave. As if long ago, at the start of her adult life, she had had a choice among several possible lives and had ended up choosing the one that took her to France. And as if those other lives, rejected and abandoned, were still lying in wait for her and were jealously watching for her from their lairs.
Milan Kundera Sayings: That is why she dislikes dreams: they impose an unacceptable equivalence among the various periods That is why she dislikes dreams: they impose an unacceptable equivalence among the various periods of the same life, a leveling contemporaneity of everything a person has ever experienced; they discredit the present by denying it its privileged status.
Milan Kundera Sayings: A person who thinks should not try to persuade others to his belief; that is A person who thinks should not try to persuade others to his belief; that is what puts him on the road to a system; on the lamentable road of the "man of conviction"; politicians like to call themselves that; but what is a conviction? It is a thought that has come to a stop, that has congealed, and "the man of conviction" is a man restricted.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Her weakness was aggressive and kept forcing him to capitulate until eventually he lost his Her weakness was aggressive and kept forcing him to capitulate until eventually he lost his strength and was transformed into the rabbit in her arms .
Milan Kundera Sayings: A great deal has been said about love at first sight; I am perfectly aware A great deal has been said about love at first sight; I am perfectly aware of love's retrospective tendency to make a legend of itself, turn its beginnings into myth; so I don't want to assert that it was love; but I have no doubt there was a kind of clairvoyance at work: I immediately felt, sensed, grasped the essence of Lucie's being or, to be more precise, the essence of what she was later to become for me; Lucie had revealed herself to me the way religious truth reveals itself.
Milan Kundera Sayings: I have a strong will to love you for eternity. I have a strong will to love you for eternity.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Nudity is the uniform of the other side ... nudity is a shroud. Nudity is the uniform of the other side ... nudity is a shroud.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Forgive me," he went on. "For a long time I have had the peculiar habit Forgive me," he went on. "For a long time I have had the peculiar habit of not arriving but appearing.
Milan Kundera Sayings: He was repelled by the pettiness that reduced life to mere existence and that turned He was repelled by the pettiness that reduced life to mere existence and that turned men into half-men. He wanted to lay his life on a balance, the other side of which was weighted with death. He wanted to make his every action, every day, yes, every hour and minute worthy of being measured against the ultimate, which is death.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Everyone is wrong about the future. Everyone is wrong about the future.
Milan Kundera Sayings: No, it was not superstition, it was a sense of beauty that cured her of No, it was not superstition, it was a sense of beauty that cured her of her depression and imbued her with a new will to live.
Milan Kundera Sayings: A novel examines not reality but existence. And existence is not what has occurred, existence A novel examines not reality but existence. And existence is not what has occurred, existence is the realm of human possibilities, everything that man can become, everything he's capable of. Novelists draw up the map of existence by discovering this or that human possibilit. But again, to exist mean: 'being-in-the-world.' Thus both the character and his world must be understood as possibilities.
Milan Kundera Sayings: How can she explain to Gustaf that within the magic circle of maternal energy, Irena How can she explain to Gustaf that within the magic circle of maternal energy, Irena has never manage to rule over her own life? How can she explain that the constant proximity of the mother would throw her back, into her weakness, her immaturity?
Milan Kundera Sayings: Whoever wishes to remember must not stay in one place, waiting for the memories to Whoever wishes to remember must not stay in one place, waiting for the memories to come of their own accord! Memories are scattered all over the immense world, and it takes voyaging to find them and make them leave their refuge.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Chance and chance alone has a message for us. Everything that occurs out of necessity, Chance and chance alone has a message for us. Everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out, is mute. Only chance can speak to us.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Franz shook his head. When a society is rich, its people don't need to work Franz shook his head. When a society is rich, its people don't need to work with their hands;they can devote themselves to activities of the spirit. We have more and more universities and more and more students. If students are going to earn degrees, they've got to come up with dissertation topics. And since dissertations can be written about everything under the sun, the number of topics is infinite. Sheets of paper covered with words pile up in archives sadder than cemeteries, because no one ever visits them, not even on All Souls' Day. Culture is perishing in overproduction, in an avalanche of words, in the madness of quantity. That's why one banned book in your former country means infinitely more than the billions of words spewed out by our universities.
Milan Kundera Sayings: The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past. They are fighting for access to the laboratories where photographs are retouched and biographies and histories rewritten.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Change the world! In Pontevin's view, what a monstrous goal! Not because the world is Change the world! In Pontevin's view, what a monstrous goal! Not because the world is so admirable as it is but because any change leads inevitably to something worse.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Yes, they have. It was back when they still didn't know each other by name. Yes, they have. It was back when they still didn't know each other by name. In the great hall of a mountain lodge, with people drinking and chattering around them, they exchanged a few commonplaces, but the tone of their voices made it clear that they wanted each other, and they withdrew into an empty corridor where, wordlessly, they kissed. She opened her mouth and pressed her tongue into Jean Marc's mouth, eager to lick whatever she would find inside. This zeal of their tongues was not a sensual necessity but an urgency to let each other know that they were prepared to make love, right away, instantly, fully and wildly and without losing a moment.
Milan Kundera Sayings: In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Tereza lives with Tomas, but her love requires mobilization In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Tereza lives with Tomas, but her love requires mobilization of all her strength, and suddenly she can't go on, she longs to retreat down below, to where she came from. And I ask myself: What is happening with her? And this is the answer I find: She is overcome by vertigo. But what is vertigo? I look for a definition and I say: "A heady, insuperable longing to fall." But immediately I correct myself, I sharpen the definition: Vertigo is "the intoxication of the weak. Aware of his weakness, a man decides to give in rather than stand up to it. He is drunk with weakness, wishes to grow even weaker, wishes to fall down in the middle of the main square in front of everybody, wishes to be down, lower than down. Vertigo is one of the keys to understanding Tereza
Milan Kundera Sayings: It follows, then, that the aesthetic ideal of the categorical agreement with being is a It follows, then, that the aesthetic ideal of the categorical agreement with being is a world in which shit is denied and everyone acts as though it did not exist. This aesthetic ideal is called kitsch.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Remembering now all those farewells (fake farewells, worked-up farewells), Irena thinks: a person who messes Remembering now all those farewells (fake farewells, worked-up farewells), Irena thinks: a person who messes up her goodbyes shouldn't expect much from her re-unions.
Milan Kundera Sayings: No one can give anyone else the gift of the idyll; only an animal can No one can give anyone else the gift of the idyll; only an animal can do so, because only animals were not expelled from Paradise. The love between dog and man is idyllic. It knows no conflicts, no hair-raising scenes; it knows no development.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Insofar as it is possible to divide people in categories, the surest criterion is the Insofar as it is possible to divide people in categories, the surest criterion is the deep-seated desires that orient them to one or another lifelong activity.Every Frenchman is different. But all actors are similar.
Milan Kundera Sayings: In any case, it seems to me that all over the world people nowadays prefer In any case, it seems to me that all over the world people nowadays prefer to judge rather than to understand, to answer rather than to ask, so that the voice of the novel can hardly be heard over the noisy foolishness of human certainties.
Milan Kundera Sayings: In a society run by terror, no statements whatsoever can be taken seriously. In a society run by terror, no statements whatsoever can be taken seriously.
Milan Kundera Sayings: But which was the real me? Let me be perfectly honest: I was a man But which was the real me? Let me be perfectly honest: I was a man of many faces. (p.33)
Milan Kundera Sayings: The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful ... 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.
Milan Kundera Sayings: ( ... ) the woman we love ought to swim as slowly as we do, ( ... ) the woman we love ought to swim as slowly as we do, she ought to have no past of her own to look back on happily. But when the illusion of absolute identity vanishes (the girl looks back happily on her past or swims faster), love becomes a permanent source of the great torment we call litost.
Milan Kundera Sayings: When I described Madame de T's night, I recalled the well-known equation from one of When I described Madame de T's night, I recalled the well-known equation from one of the first chapters of the textbook of existential mathematics: the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting. From that equation we can deduce various corrollaries, for instance this one: our period is given over to the demon of speed, and that is the reason it so easily forgets its own self. Now I would reverse that statement and say: our period is obsessed by the desire to forget, and it is to fulfill that desire that it gives over to the demon of speed; it picks up the pace to show us that it no longer wishes to be remembered; that it is tired of itself; sick of itself; that it wants to blow out the tiny trembling flame of memory.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Aesthetic racism is almost always a sign of inexperience. Those who have not made their Aesthetic racism is almost always a sign of inexperience. Those who have not made their way far enough into the world of amorous delights judge women only by what can be seen. But those who really know women understand that the eye reveals only a minute fraction of what a woman can offer us. When God bade mankind be fruitful and multiply, Doctor, He was thinking of the ugly as well as of the beautiful. I am convinced I might add, that the aesthetic criterion does not come from God but from the devil. In paradise no distinction was made between ugliness and beauty.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Totalitarianism is not only hell, but all the dream of paradise the age-old dream of Totalitarianism is not only hell, but all the dream of paradise
the age-old dream of a world where everybody would live in harmony, united by a single common will and faith, without secrets from one another. Andre Breton, too, dreamed of this paradise when he talked about the glass house in which he longed to live. If totalitarianism did not exploit these archetypes, which are deep inside us all and rooted deep in all religions, it could never attract so many people, especially during the early phases of its existence. Once the dream of paradise starts to turn into reality, however, here and there people begin to crop up who stand in its way. and so the rulers of paradise must build a little gulag on the side of Eden. In the course of time this gulag grows ever bigger and more perfect, while the adjoining paradise gets even smaller and poorer.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Having a child is to show an absolute accord with mankind. If I have a Having a child is to show an absolute accord with mankind. If I have a child, it's as though I'm saying: I was born and have tasted life and declare it so good that is merits being duplicated.
Milan Kundera Sayings: If he invited her to come, then come she would, and offer him up her If he invited her to come, then come she would, and offer him up her life.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Sleep in my arms. Like a baby bird. Like a broom among brooms ... in Sleep in my arms. Like a baby bird. Like a broom among brooms ... in a broom closet. Like a tiny parrot. Like a whistle. Like a little song. A song sung by a forest ... within a forest ... a thousand years ago.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Fortunately women have the miraculous ability to change the meaning of their actions after the Fortunately women have the miraculous ability to change the meaning of their actions after the event.
Milan Kundera Sayings: The novelist's ambition is not to do something better than his predecessors but to see The novelist's ambition is not to do something better than his predecessors but to see what they did not see, say what they did not say.
Milan Kundera Sayings: By stablishing an acquaintance with Lucie, I too had set my destiny in motion; but By stablishing an acquaintance with Lucie, I too had set my destiny in motion; but I did not lose sight of it. Though we didn't meet very often, at least our mettings were fairly regular, and I knew she was capable of waiting several weeks and then greeting me as if we'd seen each other the day before
Milan Kundera Sayings: Love is by definition an unmerited gift; being loved without meriting it is the very Love is by definition an unmerited gift; being loved without meriting it is the very proof of real love. If a woman tells me: I love you because you're intelligent, because you're decent, because you buy me gifts, because you don't chase women, because you do the dishes, then I'm disappointed; such love seems a rather self-interested business. How much finer it is to hear: I'm crazy about you even though you're neither intelligent nor decent, even though you're a liar, an egotist, a bastard.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Suspending moral judgment is not the immorality of the novel; it is its morality. Suspending moral judgment is not the immorality of the novel; it is its morality.
Milan Kundera Sayings: I am obedient. I can never say no to those weaker than myself. And because I am obedient. I can never say no to those weaker than myself. And because I am six feet two and can lift a two-hundred-pound sack with one hand, in all my life I have yet to find anyone I can resist.
Milan Kundera Sayings: And Jakub realized that this child had done no harm, that he was not guilty And Jakub realized that this child had done no harm, that he was not guilty of anything, and yet had been born with bad eyes and would have them forever. And he reflected further that what he had held against others was something given, something they came into the world with and carried with them like a heavy wire fence. He reflected that he had no privileged right to high-mindedness and that the highest degree of high-mindedness is to love people even though they are murderers.
Milan Kundera Sayings: And do you know the story about Haydn's head? They cut it away from the And do you know the story about Haydn's head? They cut it away from the still-warm cadaver so some insane scientist could take apart the brain and pinpoint the location of musical genius. And the Einstein Story? He'd carefully written his will with instructions to cremate him. They followed his orders, but his disciple, ever loyal and devoted, refused to live without the master's gaze on him. Before the cremation, he took the eyes of the cadaver and put them in a bottle of alcohol to keep them watching him until the moment he should die himself. That's why I said that the crematory fire is the only way our bodies can escape them. It's the only absolute death. And I don't want any other. Jean-Marc, I want an absolute death.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Beauty by mistake' the final phase in the history of beauty. Beauty by mistake'
the final phase in the history of beauty.
Milan Kundera Sayings: The novelist destroys the house of his life and uses its stones to build the The novelist destroys the house of his life and uses its stones to build the house of his novel.
Milan Kundera Sayings: You are beautiful," he said, "But I will have to leave you. You are beautiful," he said, "But I will have to leave you.
Milan Kundera Sayings: He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him from loneliness, introversion, the dust of He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him from loneliness, introversion, the dust of the library; it opened the door of his body and allowed his soul to step out into the world and make friends.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Listening to a news broadcast is like smoking a cigarette and crushing the butt in Listening to a news broadcast is like smoking a cigarette and crushing the butt in the ashtray.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Loves are like empires: when the idea they are founded on crumbles, they, too, fade Loves are like empires: when the idea they are founded on crumbles, they, too, fade away.
Milan Kundera Sayings: That is when I understood the magical meaning of the circle. If you go away That is when I understood the magical meaning of the circle. If you go away from a row, you can still come back into it. A row is an open formation. But a circle closes up, and if you go away from it, there is no way back. It is not by chance that the planets move in circles and that a rock coming loose from one of them goes inexorably away, carried off by centrifugal force. Like a meteorite broken off from a planet, I left the circle and have not stopped falling. Some people are granted their death as they are whirling around, and others are smashed at the end of their fall. And these others (I am one of them) always retain a kind of faint yearning for that lost ring dance, because we are all inhabitants of a universe where everything turns in circles.
Milan Kundera Sayings: The first step in liquidating a people,' said Hubl, 'is to erase its memory. Destroy The first step in liquidating a people,' said Hubl, 'is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.
Milan Kundera Sayings: All human beings have always aspired to an idyll, to that garden where nightingales sing, All human beings have always aspired to an idyll, to that garden where nightingales sing, to that realm of harmony where the world does not rise up as a stranger against man and man against other men, but rather where the world and all men are shaped from one and the same matter. There, everyone is a note in a sublime Bach fugue, and anyone who refuses to be one is a mere useless and meaningless black dot that need only be caught and crushed between thumb and finger like a flea.
Milan Kundera Sayings: We don't know when our name came into being or how some distant ancestor acquired We don't know when our name came into being or how some distant ancestor acquired it. We don't understand our name at all, we don't know its history and yet we bear it with exalted fidelity, we merge with it, we like it, we are ridiculously proud of it as if we had thought it up ourselves in a moment of brilliant inspiration
Milan Kundera Sayings: Looking out over the courtyard at the dirty walls, he realized he had no idea Looking out over the courtyard at the dirty walls, he realized he had no idea whether it was hysteria or love.
Milan Kundera Sayings: In Ferdydurke, Gombrowicz got at the fundamental shift that occurred during the twentieth century: until In Ferdydurke, Gombrowicz got at the fundamental shift that occurred during the twentieth century: until then mankind was divided in two--those who defended the status quo and those who sought to change it. Then the acceleration of History took effect: whereas in the past man had lived continuously in the same setting, in a society that changed only very slowly, now the moment arrived when he suddenly began to feel History moving beneath his feet, like a rolling sidewalk: the status quo was in motion! All at once, being comfortable with the status quo was the same thing as being comfortable with History on the move! Which meant that a person could be both progressive and conformist, conservative and rebel, at the same time!
Milan Kundera Sayings: I have become so pessimistic that these days I'd even choose the truth over friendship. I have become so pessimistic that these days I'd even choose the truth over friendship.
Milan Kundera Sayings: The Greek word for "return" is nostos. Algos means "suffering." So nostalgia is the suffering The Greek word for "return" is nostos. Algos means "suffering." So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return.
Milan Kundera Sayings: It is much more important to dig a half-buried crow out of the ground," he It is much more important to dig a half-buried crow out of the ground," he said, "than to send petitions to a president.
Milan Kundera Sayings: life is like weeds life is like weeds
Milan Kundera Sayings: Does he love me?Does he love anyone more than me?Does he love me more than Does he love me?Does he love anyone more than me?Does he love me more than I love him?Perhap sall the questions we ask of love,to measure,test,probe,and save it,have the additional effect of cutting it short.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Graphomania (a mania for writing books) inevitably takes on epidemic proportions when a society develops Graphomania (a mania for writing books) inevitably takes on epidemic proportions when a society develops to the point of creating three basic conditions: -
(1) an elevated level of general well being which allows people to devote themselves to useless activities
(2) a high degree of social atomization and , as a consequence, a general isolation of individuals;
(3) the absence of dramatic social changes in the nation's internal life.
Milan Kundera Sayings: There is no perfection only life There is no perfection only life
Milan Kundera Sayings: Optimism is the opium of the people. Optimism is the opium of the people.
Milan Kundera Sayings: The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man's body.The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life's most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?
Milan Kundera Sayings: Those who are fascinated by the idea of progress do not suspect that everything moving Those who are fascinated by the idea of progress do not suspect that everything moving forward is at the same time bringing the end nearer and that joyous watchwords like "forward" and "farther" are the lascivious voice of death urging us to hasten to it.
(If fascination with the word "forward" has become universal, isn't it mainly because death is already speaking to us from nearby?)
Milan Kundera Sayings: It was a curious game. This curiousness was evidenced, for example, in the fact that It was a curious game. This curiousness was evidenced, for example, in the fact that the young man, even though he himself was playing the unknown driver remarkably well, did not for a moment stop seeing his girl in the hitchhiker. And it was precisely this that was tormenting. He saw his girl seducing a strange man, and had the bitter privilege of being present, of seeing at close quarters how she looked and of hearing what she said when she was cheating on him (when she had cheated on him, when she would cheat on him). He had the paradoxical honor of being himself the pretext for her unfaithfulness.
This was all the worse because he worshipped rather than loved her. It had always seemed to him that her inward nature was real only within the bounds of fidelity and purity, and that beyond these bounds she would cease to be herself, as water ceases to be water beyond the boiling point.
Milan Kundera Sayings: Until that time, her betrayals had filled her with excitement and joy, because they opened Until that time, her betrayals had filled her with excitement and joy, because they opened up new paths to new adventures of betrayal. But what if the paths came to an end? One could betray one's parents, husband, country, love, but when parents, husband, country, and love were gone - what was left to betray?
Milan Kundera Sayings: The great European novel started out as entertainment, and every true novelist is nostalgic for The great European novel started out as entertainment, and every true novelist is nostalgic for it. In fact, the themes of those great entertainments are terribly serious-think of Cervantes!
Milan Kundera Sayings: For the body is temporal and thought is eternal and the shimmering essence of flame For the body is temporal and thought is eternal and the shimmering essence of flame is an image of thought.