Encounter

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Harper Collins, Aug 17, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 178 pages
3 Reviews

A brilliant new contribution to Kundera's ongoing reflections on art and artists, written with unparalleled insight, authority, and range of reference and allusion

Milan Kundera's new collection of essays is a passionate defense of art in an era that, he argues, no longer values art or beauty. With the same dazzling mix of emotion and idea that characterizes his novels, Kundera revisits the artists who remain important to him and whose works help us better understand the world we live in and what it means to be human. An astute reader of fiction, Kundera brings his extraordinary critical gifts to bear on the paintings of Francis Bacon, the music of Leos Janacek, and the films of Federico Fellini, as well as the novels of Philip Roth, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Gabriel García Márquez, among others. He also takes up the challenge of restoring to its rightful place the work of Anatole France and Curzio Malaparte, major writers who have fallen into obscurity.

Milan Kundera's signature themes of memory and forgetting, the experience of exile, and the championing of modernist art are here, along with more personal reflections and stories. Encounter is a work of great humanism. Art is what we possess in the face of evil and the darker side of human nature. Elegant, startlingly original, and provocative, Encounter follows in the footsteps of Kundera's earlier essay collections, The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, and The Curtain.

 

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If you're looking to read books of Milan Kundera's essays, start with The Art of the Novel and Testaments Betrayed; to me, they are the most immediately insightful. However, all his nonfiction works, this one included, are immensely fascinating and enlightening, and are worth reading for any artist, writer or otherwise. 

Review: Encounter

User Review  - Renée Damstra - Goodreads

I think this is a wonderful read for anyone who knows a lot about literature but I don´t. Read full review

Contents

Exile as Liberation According to Vera Linhartova
103
On the Two Great Springs and on the Škvoreckýs
117
The Most Nostalgic Opera
133
What Will Be Left of You Bertolt?
148
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

The Franco-Czech novelist Milan Kundera was born in Brno and has lived in France, his second homeland, since 1975. He is the author of the novels The Joke, Farewell Waltz, Life Is Elsewhere, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and the short-story collection Laughable Loves—all originally written in Czech. His most recent novels Slowness, Identity, and Ignorance, as well as his nonfiction works The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, The Curtain, and Encounter, were originally written in French.

Linda Asher, a former fiction editor for "The New Yorker" has translated into English many French-language writers, including Restif de la Bretonne, Victor Hugo, George Simenon & Milan Kundera.

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