^zhurnaly   -   Random   -   Recent   -   Running   -   Mantra   -   Tarot   -   Help

Unbearable Lightness of Being

Poorly-poetic translation? Prior-generation amorality? Misunderstood-ergodicity? First-world problems of an Angst-ridden, exiled, aging author? Deep political-philosophical insight overlaid with proto-pornography? Prudish, picky, envious, and/or unsympathetic reviewer? ... <sigh> ...

For whatever reason(s), upon recent reading Milan Kundera's much-praised and high-literary novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being falls, rather than floats. Distracting implied racism from the first pages? (Do African lives count for nothing compared to those lost in the French Revolution?) Near-constant male-oriented voyeurism and sexism? (beginning with "But in the love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man's body.") Near-constant focus on coincidence vs choice, fortune vs fate? Overly-mystical philosophizing about mathematical recurrence, but without any equations?

There are admittedly rhapsodic moments:

But then, so much literary erotica — existentialist-meaningless sex-scenes shot through testosterone-tinted filters:


Does the context of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia give gravitas to otherwise-pointless prose? Is the disclaimer disingenuous, that the author's characters aren't aspects of himself, real or imaginary? Whence the aside, "... The characters in my novels are my own unrealized possibilities. That is why I am equally fond of them all and equally horrified by them. Each one has crossed a border that I myself have circumvented. ..."?


... <big sigh> ...

^z - 2016-11-23