Milan Kundera


Czech-born French Writer, Playwright and Author who lived in exiled in France

Author Quotes

We go through the present blindfolded... Only later, when the blindfold is removed and we examine the past, do we realize what we've been through and understand what it means.

What is flirtation? One might say that it is behavior leading another to believe that sexual intimacy is possible, while preventing that possibility from becoming a certainty. In other words, flirting is a promise of sexual intercourse without a guarantee.

When his wife was at his side, she was also in front of him, marking out the horizon of his life. Now the horizon is empty: the view has changed.

Where the heart is speaking rude that contradicts reason.

Yes, it's a well-known fact about you: you're like death, you take everything.

You see a young woman who moves away from her life and goes, forever inaccessible. Mesmerized, can do nothing but look at this piece of your life that moves away, can only look at it and suffer. Experience a whole new feeling called nostalgia.

We have no idea anymore what it means to feel guilty. The Communists have the excuse that Stalin misled them. Murderers have the excuse that their mothers didn?t love them? No one could be more innocent, in his soul and conscience, than Oedipus. And yet he punished himself when he saw what he had done.

What is it that should trace the insuperable line? ...The question is not, ?Can they reason?? nor ?Can they talk?? But, ?Can they suffer??

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 corollaries, 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.

Which doesn't mean, of course, that I'd stopped loving her, that I'd forgotten her, or that her image had paled; on the contrary; in the form of a quiet nostalgia she remained constantly within me; I longed for her as one longs for something definitively lost.

Yes, it's crazy. Love is either crazy or it's nothing at all.

You seem to be turning into the theme of all my paint?ings, she said. The meeting of two worlds. A double exposure. Showing through the outline of Tomas the libertine, incredibly, the face of a romantic lover. Or, the other way, through a Tristan, always thinking of his Tereza, I see the beautiful, betrayed world of the libertine.

We have reached an end when crossed by the world will turn everything into a frenzy: people will run in the streets carrying flowers Almyozotis, or would shoot at each other when he sees them. And very little will suffice, a drop of water makes the vase overflow: for example, a car or a man, or any sound plus street. There should not be quantified missed, but this is not a limitation watching him, and perhaps no one knows of its existence.

What is not the result of the selection cannot be considered a failure or not deserving.

When I hear the name of Tolstoy, I imagine immediately Roaite two great things that do not Ichbhama. When utter the names of Sartre and Camus and Malraux, what is raised in their personalities and biographies Jaddalathm and their battles and their positions.

While people are fairly young and the musical composition of their lives is still in its opening bars, they can go about writing it together and sharing motifs (the way Tomas and Sabina exchanged the motif of the bowler hat), but if they meet when they are older, like Franz and Sabina, their musical compositions are more or less complete, and every motif, every object, every word means something different to each of them.

Yes, suddenly I saw it clearly: most people deceive themselves with a pair of faiths: they believe in eternal memory (of people, things, deeds, nations) and in re-dressibility (of deeds, mistakes, sins, wrongs). Both are false faiths. In reality the opposite is true: everything will be forgotten and nothing will be redressed. The task of obtaining redress (by vengeance or by forgiveness) will be taken over by forgetting. No one will redress the wrongs that have been done, but all wrongs will be forgotten.

You think that just because it's already happened, the past is finished and unchangeable? Oh no, the past is cloaked in multicolored taffeta and every time we look at it we see a different hue.

We might also call vertigo 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.

What is there to be a witness to adapt our business so voluntarily or involuntarily with Alnoazer by watching us, do not back anything of what we do is real. To have the audience or the audience to think it means to live in a lie.

When I was a little boy in short pants, I dreamed about a miraculous ointment that would make me invisible. Then I became an adult, began to write, and wanted to be successful. Now I'm successful and would like to have the ointment that would make me invisible.

While people are young and the musical composition of their lives is still in the early stages, can write it together and exchange motifs, but when they are and are older, their musical compositions are more or less closed and every word, every object means something different in the composition of the one and in the other.

Yes, suddenly I saw this: most people are tricked by a double mistaken belief: believe in eternal memory (of people, of things, of acts, nations) and the possibility of repair (for the acts, errors, of sin, of injustice). Both beliefs are false. The reality is precisely the opposite: everything will be forgotten and nothing will be repaired. The role of repair (of revenge and forgiveness) is carried out oblivion. No repair the injustices that were committed, but all injustices will be forgotten.

Young people are not to blame for that play, they are not ready, and put them in a finished world, and they have to keep it as ready. So quick to use shapes, patterns, patterns that they like, which are in vogue that they go and play.

We will never be able to establish with certainty the extent to which our relationships with others are a product of our feelings, our love, our hate, good or evil, and to what extent are the result of the relationship of forces between them and we.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date

Czech-born French Writer, Playwright and Author who lived in exiled in France