The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Front Cover
Faber, 1995 - Czech fiction - 305 pages
One of a series of titles first published by Faber between 1930 and 1990, and in a style and format planned with a view to the appearance of the volumes on the bookshelf. In his story of irreconcilable loves and infidelities, Kundera addresses himself to the nature of 20th-century Being.

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User Review  - drbrand - LibraryThing

When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object. In the realm of kitsch, the dictatorship of the heart reigns supreme. Before we are forgotten, we will be turned into kitsch. Kitsch is the stopover between being and oblivion. Read full review

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User Review  - withlightandlove - LibraryThing

Beautifully written and a bit more of a challenging read. I'm very glad I read it. Read full review

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About the author (1995)

One of the foremost contemporary Czech writers, Kundera is a novelist, poet, and playwright. His play The Keeper of the Keys, produced in Czechoslovakia in 1962, has long been performed in a dozen countries. His first novel, The Joke (1967), is a biting satire on the political atmosphere in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. It tells the story of a young Communist whose life is ruined because of a minor indiscretion: writing a postcard to his girlfriend in which he mocks her political fervor.The Joke has been translated into a dozen languages and was made into a film, which Kundera wrote and directed. His novel Life Is Elsewhere won the 1973 Prix de Medicis for the best foreign novel. Kundera has been living in France since 1975. His books, for a long time suppressed in his native country, are once again published.The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), won him international fame and was a successful English-language film. In this work Kundera moves toward more universal and philosophically tinged themes, thus transforming himself from a political dissident into a writer of international significance.

Michael Henry Heim was born in New York on January 21, 1943. He received an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a doctorate in Slavic languages from Harvard University. He was fluent in Czech, French, German, Italian, Russian and Serbian/Croatian and possessed a reading knowledge of six more languages. He became a professor of Slavic languages at the University California at Los Angeles in 1972 and served as chairman of the Slavic languages department from 1999 to 2003. He was known for his translations of works by Gunter Grass, Milan Kundera, Thomas Mann and Anton Chekhov. He received numerous awards for his work including the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize in 2005, the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation in 2009, and the PEN Translation Prize in 2010. He died from complications of melanoma on September 29, 2012 at the age of 69.

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