Quotations From MILAN KUNDERA

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  • 21.
    The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czechoslovakian author, critic. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, pt. 3, ch. 2 (1978, trans. 1980).

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  • 22.
    Mysticism and exaggeration go together. A mystic must not fear ridicule if he is to push all the way to the limits of humility or the limits of delight.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, pt. 3, ch. 2 (1978, trans. 1980).

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  • 23.
    No matter how much we scorn it, kitsch is an integral part of the human condition.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, pt. 6, ch. 12 (1984).
  • 24.
    Nothing is more repugnant to me than brotherly feelings grounded in the common baseness people see in one another.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. Ludvik, in The Joke, pt. 3, ch. 9 (1967, trans. 1982).

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  • 25.
    A novel that does not uncover a hitherto unknown segment of existence is immoral. Knowledge is the novel's only morality.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. New York Review of Books (July 19, 1984).
  • 26.
    Solitude: a sweet absence of looks.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. Immortality, pt. 1, ch. 6 (1991).

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  • 27.
    A worker may be the hammer's master, but the hammer still prevails. A tool knows exactly how it is meant to be handled, while the user of the tool can only have an approximate idea.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, pt. 7, ch. 8 (1978, trans. 1980).
  • 28.
    All great novels, all true novels, are bisexual.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. Times (London, May 16, 1991).
  • 29.
    True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, pt. 7, ch. 2 (1984).

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  • 30.
    For a novelist, a given historic situation is an anthropologic laboratory in which he explores his basic question: What is human existence?
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czechoslovakian author, critic. (First published 1973). Life Is Elsewhere, postscript (1986).
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