Quotations From MILAN KUNDERA

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  • 1.
    Nudity is the uniform of the other side ... nudity is a shroud.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, pt. 7, ch. 8 (1978, trans. 1980).
  • 2.
    Optimism is the opium of the people.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. The Joke, pt. 3, ch. 3 (1967, trans. 1982). The line, written by Ludvik on a postcard, was used by the Party as incriminating evidence against him, though it was only meant as "a joke."

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  • 3.
    Eroticism is like a dance: one always leads the other.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czechoslovakian author, critic. "The Cat," pt. 3, Immortality (1991).

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  • 4.
    The light that radiates from the great novels time can never dim, for human existence is perpetually being forgotten by man and thus the novelists' discoveries, however old they may be, will never cease to astonish.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. Quoted in Guardian (London, June 3, 1988).

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  • 5.
    Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. the bear, in "The Brilliant Ally of His Own Gravediggers," pt. 3, Immortality (1991).
  • 6.
    Listening to a news broadcast is like smoking a cigarette and crushing the butt in the ashtray.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. Paul, in "The Brilliant Ally of His Own Gravediggers," pt. 3, Immortality (1991).
  • 7.
    Let us consider the critic, therefore, as a discoverer of discoveries.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czechoslovakian author, critic. "On Criticism, Aesthetics, and Europe," Review of Contemporary Fiction (Summer 1989). Originally from Kundera's introduction to François Ricard, La Littérature Contre Elle-Même.
  • 8.
    The reign of imagagology begins where history ends.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czechoslovakian author, critic. Paul, in "Imagagology," pt. 3, Immortality (1991). On the death of ideology.

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  • 9.
    Without the meditative background that is criticism, works become isolated gestures, ahistorical accidents, soon forgotten.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czechoslovakian author, critic. Originally from Kundera's introduction to François Ricard, La Littérature Contre Elle-Même. "On Criticism, Aesthetics, and Europe," Review of Contemporary Fiction (Summer 1989).
  • 10.
    Hate traps us by binding us too tightly to our adversary.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czechoslovakian author, critic. Immortality, pt. 1, ch. 5 (1991).

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