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Title:The Joke
Format Type:Ebook
Author:
Publisher:Faber and Faber
ISBN:0571166938
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:371
Category:Fiction, Czech literature, Literature, Novels, Classics

The Joke by Milan Kundera

PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC The Joke All too often this brilliant novel of thwarted love and revenge miscarried has been read for its political implications Now a quarter century after The Joke was first published and several years after the collapse of the Soviet imposed Czechoslovak regime it becomes easier to put such implications into perspective in favor of valuing the book and all Kundera s work as what it truly is great stirring literature that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence .

The present edition provides English language readers an important further means toward revaluation of The Joke For reasons he describes in his Author s Note Milan Kundera devoted much time to creating with the assistance of his American publisher editor a completely revised translation that reflects his original as closely as any translation possibly can reflects it in its fidelity not only to the words and syntax but also to the characteristic dictions and tonalities of the novel s narrators The result is nothing less than the restoration of a classic

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Immortality, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Ignorance, Slowness, Farewell Waltz, Identity, Laughable Loves, The Joke, Life is Elsewhere, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
p A man and a woman meet by chance while returning to their homeland which they had abandoned twenty years earlier when they chose to become exiles Will they manage to pick up the thread of their strange love story interrupted almost as soon as it began and then lost in the tides of history The truth is that after such a long absence their memories no longer match We always believe that our memories coincide with those of the person we loved that we experienced the same thing But this is just an illusion Then again what can we expect of our weak memory It records only an insignificant minuscule particle of the past and no one knows why it s this bit and not any other bit We live our lives sunk in a vast forgetting a fact we refuse to recognize Only those who return after twenty years like Odysseus returning to his native Ithaca can be dazzled and astounded by observing the goddess of ignorance firsthand p p Milan Kundera is the only author today who can take such dizzying concepts as absence memory forgetting and ignorance and transform them into material for a novel masterfully orchestrating them into a polyphonic and moving work p p Author Biography The Franco Czech novelist Milan Kundera was born in Brno and has lived in France his second homeland for more than twenty years p p He is the author of the novels i The Joke Life Is Elsewhere The Farewell Party The Books of Laughter and Forgetting The Unbearable Lightness of Being i and i Immortality i and the short story collection i Laughable Loves i all originally written in Czech p p Like i Slowness i his two earlier nonfiction works i The Art ofthe Novel i and i Testaments Betrayed i were originally written in French p, There are situations in which we fail for a moment to recognize the person we are with in which the identity of the other is erased while we simultaneously doubt our own This also happens with couples indeed above all with couples because lovers fear more than anything else losing sight of the loved one br br With stunning artfulness in expanding and playing variations on the meaningful moment Milan Kundera has made this situation and the vague sense of panic it inspires the very fabric of his new novel Here brevity goes hand in hand with intensity and a moment of bewilderment marks the start of a labyrinthine journey during which the reader repeatedly crosses the border between the real and the unreal between what occurs in the world outside and what the mind creates in its solitude br br Of all contemporary writers only Kundera can transform such a hidden and disconcerting perception into the material for a novel one of his finest most painful and most enlightening Which surprisingly turns out to be a love story, Milan Kundera s lightest novel a em divertimento em an em opera buffa em em Slowness em is also the first of this author s fictional works to have been written in French br br Disconcerted and enchanted the reader follows the narrator of em Slowness em through a midsummer s night in which two tales of seduction separated by more than two hundred years interweave and oscillate between the sublime and the comic Underlying this libertine fantasy is a profound meditation on contemporary life about the secret bond between slowness and memory about the connection between our era s desire to forget and the way we have given ourselves over to the demon of speed And about dancers possessed by the passion to be seen for whom life is merely a perpetual show emptied of every intimacy and every joy, All too often this brilliant novel of thwarted love and revenge miscarried has been read for its political implications Now a quarter century after The Joke was first published and several years after the collapse of the Soviet imposed Czechoslovak regime it becomes easier to put such implications into perspective in favor of valuing the book and all Kundera s work as what it truly is great stirring literature that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence br br The present edition provides English language readers an important further means toward revaluation of The Joke For reasons he describes in his Author s Note Milan Kundera devoted much time to creating with the assistance of his American publisher editor a completely revised translation that reflects his original as closely as any translation possibly can reflects it in its fidelity not only to the words and syntax but also to the characteristic dictions and tonalities of the novel s narrators The result is nothing less than the restoration of a classic