Kundera’s Slowness

Read Slowness by Milan Kundera this week.

The novel was an inquiry about the loss of pleasure of Slowness in today’s fast tracked world. The author weaves a libertine novel where two stories separated by a century or two are told in parallel. Few more things like hedonism, exhibitionism and discretion also get their share of inquiry as the novel progresses.

It was more of an obscure reading (it was the first novel i have read of Kundera) experience considering it was too small a novella with sm 130 pages of discursive writing and also i finished it in two sittings separated by 4 days. So in all it wasn’t a rewarding read as i expected. Anyhow i have got hold of The Joke which hopefully i will be reading soon, so will write sth better and substantial then.

Here’s a nice little piece from the novel:

The man hunched over his motorcycle can focus only on the present instant of his flight; he is caught in a fragment of time cut off from both the past and the future; he is wrenched from the continuity of time…in other words, he is in a state of ecstasy; in that state he is unaware of his age, his wife, his children, his worries, and so he has no fear, because the source of fear is in the future, and a person freed of the future has nothing to fear

check out: a favorable review and a not so favorable review

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4 comments

  1. Rakesh
    I have nt read this work piece from Milan Kundera, who I love a lot (after Iris Murdoch),amongst the set of existential philosophers-thinkers-writers. Through his mellifluous tone he weaves philosophy masquerading as a fiction, and amazingly creates tensions within the characters in terms of their moods and motivations, thus leading the reader to a newer facet of life.His style is more of posing questions …he makes you ruminate

    “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” is his signature piece and I recommend that….it reminds you of Camus’ “The Stranger”.. my friend says Kundera has the style of Faulkner (*I have to re-read Mr Faulkner). “Laughable Loves” from him teases you…the former master-piece is all about the choices we make, how we struggle with them while craving the freedom/independence in our lives and the ultimate surrender to fate and time…it’s endless n vicious circle of a thought…

    Wish you a Happy Diwali-the festival of lights and its festivities around for the coming seasons
    Jyo

  2. about that little piece you reproduced over here…
    this is my interpretation…

    Does that mean the present is a state of ecstasy for one, if he or she is indulged in something one is passionate about?
    Does that mean the present is a loose fragment of life, which gets embedded into the continuity of time and life once its life is spent?

  3. Ah, Iris Murdoch..Faulkner…
    Well, my romance with reading started just 2-3 years back so am still deprived of the love of many writers…Anyway i will catch up soon and am glad that i know of such love…

    Happy Belated Diwali to you too..

  4. Well, any moment can be a state of ecstasy if one is doing something he’s passionate about but i feel ecstasy also depends on the moment’s contribution i.e how much the moment is able to elevate one in addition to how much one can elevate the moment.
    like for example a movie or a book lover is not always in ecstatic state while watching a movie or reading a book..

    and also i guess the bar is raised everytime a worthy moment comes…

    Yeah, it can also be called as a loose fragment..but its more or less one’s interpretation, i mean if one really wants to regard the moment as above and distinct from the other normal, banal and trite moments of his life then its a loose fragmant. A loose fragment capable of its own existence, its own identity, its own worth which is invaluable..

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