Milan Kundera


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

Author Quotes

To ensure that the self doesn't shrink, to see that it holds on to its volume, memories have to be watered like potted flowers, and the watering calls for regular contact with the witnesses of the past, that is to say, with friends.

Tomas did not realize at the time that metaphors are dangerous. Metaphors are not to be trifled with. A single metaphor can give birth to love.

We all reject out of hand the idea that the love of our life may be something light or weightless; we presume our love is what must be, that without it our life would no longer be the same; we feel that Beethoven himself, gloomy and awe-inspiring, is playing the Es muss sein! to our own great love.

The moment love is born: the woman cannot resist the voice calling forth her terrified soul; the man cannot resist the woman whose soul thus responds to his voice.

The passion of extremism, whether in art or in politics compelling desire to die.

The simplest questions are always the most important questions and the answer is no, and the question cannot be answered obstacle that cannot go beyond that.

The word change, so dear to our Europe, has been given a new meaning: it no longer means a new stage of coherent development (as it was understood by Vico, Hegel or Marx), but a shift from one side to another, from front to back, from the back to the left, from the left to the front (as understood by designers dreaming up the fashion for the next season).

There has never asked those questions that torture pairs of human love me? Has ever loved someone more than me? Loves me more than you love me? Maybe all these questions put to love, which measure, the investigating, looking at each other, subjecting them to interrogation, they also succeed in destroying it in the bud. We may not be able to love just because we want to be loved, that is to say we want something (love) instead of the other close to him unpretentious and want only his mere presence.

This part of the story could serve as a parable about the power of beauty. When Mr. Zaturetski first saw Clara in my quarters, he was so blinded that does not actually seem real. Beauty brought before it opaque curtain. Light curtain behind which she hid behind a veil. Klara is neither high nor blonde. Only the inner greatness of her beauty created at Mr. Zaturetski idea for the fuller figure. A glow that radiates beauty, confer on her hair a golden glow.

To have compassion (co-feeling) means not only to be able to live with other's misfortune but also to feel with him any emotion -joy , anxiety, happiness, pain.

Tomas lived under the hypnotic spell cast by the excruciating beauty of Tereza's dreams.

We are all in need of a person looking at us. We can split up to four categories according to the type of view that we want to live under it. The first category, eager to look an infinite number of anonymous eyes, in other words, look for the masses. The second category consists of people who have a need for MAS to consider by many known eyes. They do not get bored of hosting cocktail parties and dinners. They are happier than present in the first class category, and who - when they lose their audience - feel that the light has left the living room, which is what happens to all of them - almost - sooner or later. Those in the second category, on the other hand, can usually come up with eye they need. Then there is the third category, a category of people you need to always be in sight of before the eyes of those who love them. They and their dangerous such as those living in the first category. Someday the eyes of those who love them will be closed, and then room. Finally, there is the fourth category, the rarest, this group of people living in the fictional eyes of people who do not exist. These are the dreamers.

The moment someone keeps an eye on what we do, we involuntarily make allowances for that eye, and nothing we do is truthful. Having a public, keeping a public in mind, means living in lies.

The phrase It's absolutely the same with me, I... seems to be an approving echo, a way of continuing the other's thought, but that is an illusion: in reality it is a brute revolt against a brutal violence, an effort to free our own ear from bondage and to occupy the enemy's ear by force. Because all of man's life among his kind is nothing other than a battle to seize the ear of others.

The situation has changed, and the understanding of journalists to ask questions not only a way to work Maker reportage, which tracks humbly investigating what clutching in his hand, but a way of exercising power really, not the journalist is to ask a question, it is a person who has the sacred right to put them, and put them on any was, and about any subject. Authority and not doing the right journalist asking the question, but the right to claim with an answer.

The world has become man's right and everything in it has become a right: the desire for love the right to love, the desire for rest the right to rest, the desire for friendship the right to friendship, the desire to exceed the speed limit the right to exceed the speed limit, the desire for happiness the right to happiness, the desire to publish a book the right to publish a book, the desire to shout in the street in the middle of the night the right to shout in the street.

There is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting. A man is walking down the street. At a certain moment, he tries to recall something, but the recollection escapes him. Automatically, he slows down. Meanwhile, a person who wants to forget a disagreeable incident he has just lived through starts unconsciously to speed up his pace, as if he were trying to distance himself from a thing still too close to him in time. The degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting.

This preoccupation with self-image; that is where the fatal immaturity of man lies.

To laugh is to live profoundly... The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness, that delectable trance of happiness, that ultimate peak of delight. Laughter of delight, delight of laughter... it is an expression of being rejoicing at being.

Tomas said, sleep with a woman and sleep with her, here are two not only different, but almost contradictory passions. Love manifests itself not by the desire to make love (this desire applies to countless multitude women) but by the desire for shared sleep (this desire relates to only one woman).

We are born one time only. We can never start a new life equipped with the experience we've gained from the previous one. We leave childhood without knowing what youth is, we marry without knowing what it is to be married, and even when we enter old age, we don't know what it is we're heading for: the old are innocent children innocent of their old age. In that sense, man's world is the planet of inexperience.

The more vast the amount of time we've left behind us, the more irresistible is the voice calling us to return to it.

The pressure to make public retractions of past statements - there's something medieval about it. What does it mean, anyway, to 'retract' what you've said? How can anyone state categorically that a thought he once had is no longer valid? In modern times an idea can be refuted, yes, but not retracted.

The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness, that delectable trance of happiness, that ultimate peak of delight. Laughter of delight, delight of laughter. There is no doubt: this laughter goes far beyond joking, jeering, and ridicule. The two sisters stretched out on their bed are not laughing at anything concrete, their laughter has no object; it is an expression of being rejoicing at being... and in this ecstatic laughter he loses all memory, all desire, cries out to the immediate present of the world, and needs no other knowledge.

The world loses its transparency little by little, it becomes hermetically and sticks to understand, likes the unknown, while escaping the man who betrayed the world, within itself, to longing, to dreams, to the revolution, do not come back he could hear the voices questioning from abroad after the valves sound the painful rise in the inside

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