52: the unbearable lightness of being

I think I’ll partake in this thing that I saw called 52 books in 52 weeks.

Since today is Sunday and I completed The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, today, I’ll consider this my first week, my countdown from 52 to 1.

Some people have expressed difficulty in reading this book. I found it to be read with ease however there’s so much stuff that I didn’t understand, instead of dwelling on it, I’m sure I just kept on going thinking that I did understand.

It’s like how sometimes you finish an exam and you are feeling very much confident in yourself and the answers that you’ve provided but all in all it’s just because you understood so little of the content that you thought you did well.

but I found the book to be beautifully written and the style of prose something that I’d like to learn for myself.

i always leave page numbers though every edition is different, i dont know why i did that…

And quotes, as always.

Page 79: But when the strong were too weak to hurt the weak, the weak had to be strong enough to leave.

page 120 – 121 “Why don’t you ever use your strength on me?” She said.

“Because love means renouncing strength,” said Franz softly.

Sabina realized two things: first, that Franz’s words were noble and just; second, that they disqualified him from her love life.

page 161: He said it kindly, as if apologizing to Tereza for not being able to shoot her if it was not her choice. His kindness tore at her heartstrings, and she turned her face to the bark of the tree and burst into tears.

page 132: The goals we pursue are always veiled. a girl who longs for marriage longs for something she knows nothing about. the boy who hankers after fame has no idea what fame is. the thing that gives our every move its meaning is always totally unknown to use.

page 141 – 142 Lately, Tereza realized, she positively enjoyed being welcomed into the day by Karenin. Waking up was sheer delight for him: he always showed a naive and simple amazement at the disocovery that he was back on earth; he was sincerely pleased. She, on the other hand, awoke with great reluctance, with a desire to stave off the day by keeping her eyes closed.

page 149 OF course, Even if Tereza were completely unlike Tereza, her soul inside her would be the same and look on in amazement at what was happening to her body.

Then what was the relationship between Tereza and her body? Had her body the right to call itself Tereza? And if not, then what did the name refer to? Merely something incorporeal, intangible?

page 150 (There are questions that had been going through Tereza’s head since she was a child. Indeed, the only truly serious questions are ones that even a child can formulate. only the most naive of questions are truly serious. They are the barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limits of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence)

page 164 He had no desk, but hundreds of books. She liked seeing them, and the anxiety that had plagued her died down somewhat. From childhood, she had regarded books as the emblems of a secret brotherhood. A man with this sort of library couldn’t possibly hurt her.

page 189 Is a fool on the throne relieved of all responsibility merely because he is a fool?

page 198 How defenseless we are in the face of flattery! Thomas was unable to prevent himself from taking seriously what the Ministry official said. But it was not out of mere vanity. More important was Tomas’s lack of experience. When you sit face to face with someone who is pleasant, respectful, and polite, you have a hard time reminding yourself that nothing he says is true, that nothing is sincere.

page 224 The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful. From the time he met Tereza, no woman had the right to leave the slightest impression on that part of his brain.

page 239 This is the image from which he was born. As I have pointed out before, characters are not born like people, of woman; they are born of a situation, a sentence, a metaphor containing in a nutshell a basic human possiblity that the author thinks no one else has dicovered or said something essential about.
but isn’t it true that an author can write only about himself?

page 241 Human life occurs only once, and the reason we cannot determine which of our decisions are good and which bad is that in a given situation we can make only one decision; we are not granted a second, third, or fourth life in which to compare various decisions.

page 259 He suddenly recalled the famous myth from Plato’s Symposium: People were hermaphrodites until God split them in two, and now all the halves wander the world over seeking one another. Love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost.

Posted: January 16th, 2011
Categories: 52 weeks, BOOKS, QUOTES
Tags: , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.
Comment from Lambada - January 17, 2011 at 4:14 am

Ohh, I should finish this book from where I’ve left off.

Just wanted to say you’ve encouraged me to read again Emma. :)
My goal (realistic!) shall be…1 book per season this year! \:D/