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 :: 1929-, Czech Author, Critic

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Solitude: a sweet absence of looks.
~ Milan Kundera - [Solitude]

 

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The basis of shame is not some personal mistake of ours, but the ignominy, the humiliation we feel that we must be what we are without any choice in the matter, and that this humiliation is seen by everyone.
~ Milan Kundera - [Shame]

 

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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 - [Books: Classics]

 

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The present era grabs everything that was ever written in order to transform it into films, TV programs; or cartoons. What is essential in a novel is precisely what can only be expressed in a novel, and so every adaptation contains nothing but the non-essential. If a person is still crazy enough to write novels nowadays and wants to protect them, he has to write them in such a way that they cannot be adapted, in other words, in such a way that they cannot be retold.
~ Milan Kundera - [Literature]

 

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The reign of imagagology begins where history ends.
~ Milan Kundera - [Image]

 

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The serial number of a human specimen is the face, that accidental and unrepeatable combination of features. It reflects neither character nor soul, nor what we call the self. The face is only the serial number of a specimen.
~ Milan Kundera - [Faces]

 

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The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness.
~ Milan Kundera - [Laughter]

 

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The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.
~ Milan Kundera - [Memory]

 

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The word change, so dear to our Europe, has been given a new meaning: it no longer means a new stage of coherent development (as it was understood by Vico, Hegel or Marx), but a shift from one side to another, from front to back, from the back to the left, from the left to the front (as understood by designers dreaming up the fashion for the next season).
~ Milan Kundera - [Change]

 

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There is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one's own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.
~ Milan Kundera - [Compassion]

 

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True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power.
~ Milan Kundera - [Goodness]

 

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We can never establish with certainty what part of our relations with others is the result of our emotions -- love, antipathy, charity, or malice -- and what part is predetermined by the constant power play among individuals.
~ Milan Kundera - [Relationships]

 

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We don't know when our name came into being or how some distant ancestor acquired it. We don't understand our name at all, we don't know its history and yet we bear it with exalted fidelity, we merge with it, we like it, we are ridiculously proud of it as if we had thought it up ourselves in a moment of brilliant inspiration.
~ Milan Kundera - [Names]

 

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We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always a sketch. No sketch is not quite the right word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch of nothing, an outline with no picture.
~ Milan Kundera - [Life and Living]

 

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Without the meditative background that is criticism, works become isolated gestures, historical accidents, soon forgotten.
~ Milan Kundera - [Critics and Criticism]

 

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Woman is the future of man. That means that the world which was once formed in man's image will now be transformed to the image of woman. The more technical and mechanical, cold and metallic it becomes, the more it will need the kind of warmth that only the woman can give it. If we want to save the world, we must adapt to the woman, let ourselves be led by the woman, let ourselves be penetrated by the Ewigweiblich, the eternally feminine!
~ Milan Kundera - [Women]

 

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