Milan Kundera


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

Author Quotes

Unity: the absence of the tortured glances. One day I got sick and worked alone in the office, I noticed that she was amazed at the evening hardly feel tired. Making them aware that pregnancy looks fatigued, kisses suck blood, and that the probe is the one who looks dig wrinkles on her face.

The man raised his glass, 'To you!' Can't you think of a wittier toast?' Something was beginning to irritate him about the girl's game. Now sitting face to face with her, he realized it wasn't just the words which were turning her into a stranger, but that her whole persona had changed, the movements of her body and her facial expression, and that she unpalatably and faithfully resembled that type of woman whom he knew so well and for whom he felt some aversion. And so (holding his glass in his raised hand), he corrected his toast: 'O.K., then I won't drink to you, but to your kind, in which are combined so successfully the better qualities of the animal and the worse aspects of the human being.

The only thing they bequeathed to him was a fear of women. Tomas desired but feared them. Needing to create a compromise between fear and desire, he devised what he called ?erotic friendship.? He would tell his mistresses: the only relationship that can make both partners happy is the one in which sentimentality has no place and neither partner makes any claim on the life and freedom of the other.

The sadness meant: we are at the last station. The happiness meant: we are together. The sadness was form, the happiness content

The uniqueness of the ego lies precisely in this part of the difficult to imagine which is owned by every man

There are no small parts. Only small actors.

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 it or repaint it. We want to be the masters of the future only for the power to change the past. We fight for access to the labs where we can retouch photos and rewrite biographies and history.

To be a writer does not mean to preach a truth, it means to discover a truth.

Today I know this: when it comes time to take stock, the most painful wound is that of broken friendships; and there is nothing more foolish than to sacrifice a friendship to politics.

Unlike the puerile loyalty to a conviction, loyalty to a friend is a virtue - perhaps the only virtue, the last remaining one.

The man without knowing composes his life according to the laws of beauty and moments of deepest despair.

The ostriches were like messengers who had learned their vital message by heart, but whose vocal chords had been slit by the enemy, so that when they finally reached their goal, all they could do was move their mouths.

The same filmmaker subconscious that day sent him pieces of his native landscape as images of happiness, you organized the night, terrifying return to their country. The day was enlightened by the beauty of the abandoned country, the terror of the night there again. The phy showed him the paradise lost, the night of hell where he had fled.

The war found me in Germany. Woman I loved then, hand me over to the Gestapo. Went to her and showed my picture with another woman. This makes it insulted, and you know how often love taking images of hatred. I went to jail with the special feeling that there sending me love. Is not it wonderful to find yourself in the hands of the Gestapo and to know that actually it is the privilege of those who too was loved!

There are several ways to learn the self. In the first action. Then the inner life.

They were ready to sell people a future in exchange for their past... They wanted to compel him to cast his life away and become a shadow, a man without past, an actor without a role, and turn even his castaway life, even the role the actor had abandoned, into a shadow. Having turned him into a shadow, they would let him live.

To be mortal is the most basic human experience, and yet man has never been able to accept it, grasp it, and behave accordingly. Man doesn't know how to be mortal. And when he dies, he doesn't even know how to be dead.

Today we're all alike, all of us bound together by our shared apathy toward work. That very apathy has become a passion. The one great collective passion of our time.

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?

The meaning did not precede the dream; the dream preceded the meaning. So the way to read the tale is to let the imagination carry one along. Not, above all, as a rebus to be decoded.

The pain is not very heaviest of the pain that we suffer with the other and for the other, and in the other place, the pain compounded imagination and hundreds of resonances.

The senator had only one argument in his favor: his feeling. When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object. In the realm of kitsch, the dictatorship of the heart reigns supreme.

The woman he had loved most (he was thirty at the time) would tell him (he was nearly in despair when he heard it) that she held on to life by a thread. Yes, she did want to live, life gave her great joy, but she also knew that her 'i want to live' was spun from the threads of a spider-web. It takes so little, so infinitely little, for someone to find himself on the other side of the border, where everything-- love, convictions, faith, history -- no longer has meaning. The whole mystery of human life resides in the fact that it is spent in the immediate proximity of, and even in direct contact with, that border, that it is separated from it not by kilometers but by barely a millimeter.

There are situations where the man is condemned to a show. His fight against the silent power is the struggle of a theater group that attacks an army.

Think Thomas: The sleeping with women and sleeping with her ??Rgbtan are not different, but contradictory, too. Love is not manifested a desire to have sex (and this desire to apply to the countless number of women), but wanting to sleep the common (and this desire does not belong to only one woman).

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