Milan Kundera


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

Author Quotes

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.

What is unique about the "I" hides itself exactly in what is unimaginable about a person. All we are able to imagine is what makes everyone like everyone else, what people have in common. The individual "I" is what differs from the common stock, that is, what cannot be guessed at or calculated, what must be unveiled, uncovered, conquered.

When I was small and would leaf through the Old Testament retold for children and illustrated in engravings by Gustave Dore, I saw the Lord God standing on a cloud. He was an old man with eyes, nose, and a long beard, and I would say to myself that if He had a mouth, He had to eat. And if He ate, He had intestines. But that always gave me a fright, because even though I come from a family that was not particularly religious, I felt the idea of a divine intestine to be sacrilegious. Spontaneously, without any theological training, I, a child, grasped the incompatibility of God and shit... Either/or: either man was created in God's image-- and God has intestines!-- or God lacks intestines and man is not like him... Shit is a more onerous theological problem than is evil. Since God gave man freedom, we can, if need be, accept the idea that He is not responsible for man's crimes. The responsibility for shit, however, rests entirely with Him, the Creator of man.

Who are the greatest misogynists in the world? Women! No man?not even Mr. Klima, who?s already been twice stuck with a paternity claim?I say, no man feels such resentment against women as women do against their own sex. Why do you think they chase after us men? Only to wound and humiliate their sisters. God put misogyny in the hearts of women because he wanted the human race to multiply.

Yes, the essence of every love is a child, and it makes no difference at all whether it has ever actually been conceived or born. In the algebra of love a child is the symbol of the magical sum of two beings.

Young scary: Its? theater moves children on crutches and a high of more versatile clothing, and casting formats educated understand half understand, but they cling to them fanatically. History scary, too, who often uses the field of play for the immature, the field of play for Nero boy, the boy Bonaparte, for children electrified crowds that turn her emotions counterfeit and roles Simplified to reality disastrous.

We will never cease our critique of those persons who distort the past, rewrite it, falsify it, who exaggerate the importance of one event and fail to mention some other; such a critique is proper (it cannot fail to be), but it doesn't count for much unless a more basic critique precedes it: a critique of human memory as such. For after all, what can memory actually do, the poor thing? It is only capable of retaining a paltry little scrap of the past, and no one knows why just this scrap and not some other one, since in each of us the choice occurs mysteriously, outside our will or our interests. We won't understand a thing about human life if we persist in avoiding the most obvious fact: that a reality no longer is what it was when it was; it cannot be reconstructed. Even the most voluminous archives cannot help.

What makes a leftist a leftist is not this or that theory but his ability to integrate any theory into the kitsch called the Grand March.

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