En Francia, el clasicismo, el racionalismo, el libertinaje, la lucidez de la gran novela del siglo XIX. No; eran solitarios. Todos ellos eran grandes marginales. Ni Novalis, ni Tieck, ni Arnim, ni E. Su maestro fue Flaubert, el gran observador.

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I had already read and loved two later works, and was expecting it to be somehow inferior, as if he was still learning the ropes. For all its metaphysical concerns, the writing style is very much concerned with the material world and the dynamism within it. Philosophy derives partly from the activity of external factors. The first person narrators discover what people are thinking indirectly from their actions.

We see what characters have done, then we see them come undone. Bit by bit, by accumulation of knowledge, we start to understand why. The novel plays out like a tense game of chess. Every move is precisely choreographed. Kundera sets the characters off on their journey, then follows them with his camera. And we follow him. Sometimes the work reads like a novelisation of a film or play.

It portrays exactly what we see. Not a word is wasted. The Joke The concept of a joke pervades the novel. A healthy atmosphere stinks of stupidity! Long live Trotsky! Despite her beauty, Marketa is credulous, intellectually dull and lacking in a sense of humour.

However, the joke is lost on both Marketa and the state. The Trap In his preface, Kundera denies that the novel was designed to be a "major indictment of Stalinism". Kundera pays equal attention to the political. Whether or not society had similar problems under Communism and Capitalism, Kundera describes a rigidity and humourlessness that affects both individuals and the state.

Later, he would write of "the trap the world has become". The underlying problem is both social and political: the tendency of both the individual and the state to be overly serious, inflexible, self-protective and punitive. Whatever the political system, a sense of humour is a safety valve that allows pent up personal and social pressures to escape. Humour can relax, relieve and release tension not to mention pretension.

The joke is a spring, a coil that allows the situation to uncoil and the tension to dissipate. A joke is what allows a tree to bend and sway in the wind. The Structure Kundera tells his tale in seven separate parts, each of which is divided into sub-parts.

Each part is narrated by one of the major characters, three men, and one woman Helena. One of the other characters, Lucie, is a trigger point for much of the action.

Instead, the other characters shine a light on her from outside. We are never confident that we have gotten to know her. She remains elusive. Thus, the coiling and uncoiling of the joke and its aftermath is reflected in the structure of the novel. The Punch Line Apart from the joke, as Kundera states, the novel is a love story. We see what he does to women and why. His relationship with Helena whose story we hear from her is motivated by revenge on a rival which proves to be misconceived.

However, overall, the design of the novel allows us to witness different perspectives in a polyphonic manner. When we see the situation from the other side s , we learn that Ludvik might equally have been the victim of a cosmic joke. However, these traces and tendencies go further than Communist society, hence the broader ambitions Kundera had for his novel.

Whatever the political environment, Kundera describes a "depression over the bleakness of our erotic horizons". How men in particular deal with this bleakness and depression reflects in their sexual behaviour. Ludvik comments on "the incredible human capacity for transforming reality into a likeness of desires or ideals Inevitably, it compromises the relationship itself: " For both genders, then, desire is often founded in self-deceit, if not also the deceit of others.

The Vain Pursuit Ludvik defines women in relation to himself and his own needs. By extension, Kundera suggests that, both in our vanity and in our pursuit, we are the brunt of our own joke.


Frases de La broma



Milan Kundera


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