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Milan Kundera quotes (showing 181-210 of 1,658)

“People derived too much pleasure from seeing their fellow man morally humiliated to spoil that pleasure by hearing out an explanation.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“If I had two lives, in one life I could invite her to stay at my place, and in the second life I could kick her out. Then I could compare and see which had been the best thing to do. But we only live once. Life's so light. Like an outline we can't ever fill in or correct... make any better. It's frightening".”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass!

The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass!”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“it is wrong to chide the novel for being fascinated by mysterious coincidences... but it is right to chide man for being blind to such coincidences in his daily life. For he thereby deprives his life a dimension of beauty.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“العَود الأبدي، فكرة يكتنفها الغموض وبها أربك نيتشه الكثيرين من الفلاسفة: أن نتصور أن كل شئ سيتكرر ذات يوم كما عشناه في السابق، وأن هذا التكرار بالذات سيتكرر بلا نهاية! ماذا تعني هذه الخرافة المجنونة؟
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تؤكد خرافة العَود الأبدي، سلبا، أن الحياة التي تختفي نهائياً، والتي لا ترجع إنما هي أشبه بظل ودون وزن وميتة سلفاً، ومهما تكن هذه الحياة فظيعة أو جميلة او رائعة فإن هذه الفظاعة وهذا الجمال وهذه الروعة لا تعني شيئاً، هي غير ذات أهمية مثل حرب وقعت بين مملكتين افريقيتين فما غيرت شيئاً في وجه التاريخ، مع أن ثلاثمائة ألف زنجي لاقوا فيها حتفهم وفي عذابات تفوق الوصف، فهل كان سيغير شئ لو أن هذه الحرب بين المملكتين الافريقيتين في القرن الرابع عشر قد تكررت مرات لا حصر لها في سياق العود الأبدي؟
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لو قُدر للثورةالفرنسية أن تتكرر باستمرار، لكان المؤرخون الفرنسيون أقل فخراً بروبسبير. ولكن، بما أنهم يتحدثون عن شئ لن يرجع ثانية، فإن السنوات الدامية تصير مجرد كلمات ونظريات ومجادلات، تصير أكثر خفة من الوبر ولا تعود مخيفة. هنالك فرق شاسع بين روبسبير الذي لم يظهر سوى مرة في التاريخ وروبسبير الذي يعود بشكل دائم ليقطع رؤوس الفرنسيين.
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كل شئ في هذا العالم مغتفر سلفاً وكل شئ مسموح به بوقاحة.
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كلما كان الحمل ثقيلا، كانت حياتنا أقرب الى الأرض، وكانت واقعية أكثر وحقيقة أكثر.
وبالمقابل، فإن الكائن الإنساني عند الغياب التام للحمل يصير أكثر خفة من الهواء، محلقاً بعيداً عن الأرض وعن الكائن الأرضي. يصير شبه واقعي وتصبح حركاته حرة قدر ما هي تافهه.
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إن ألمنا بالذات ليس بأثقل من الألم الذي نعانيه مع الآخر ومن أجل الآخر وفي مكان الآخر.
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أليس من ذلك بد؟
ليس من ذلك بد.
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مرة ليست في الحسبان، مرة هي أبداً
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كانت تحب أن تتنزه وهي تتأبط كتباً، كانت تميزها عن الآخرين مثلما كانت العصا تميز المتأنق في القرن الفائت
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افلا تقاس أهمية حدث، وكثرة معانيه بارتباطه بأكبر عدد ممكن من الصدف
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وحدها الصدفة يمكن أن تكون ذات مغزىـ فما يحدث بالضرورة، ما هو متوقع ويتكرر يومياً يبقى شيئاً أبكم، وحدها الصدفة ناطقة، نسعى لأن نقرأ فيها كما يقرأ الغجريون في الرسوم التي يخطها ثقل القهوة في مقر الفنجان
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من يبغي الارتقاء باستمرار عليه أن يستعد يوما للاصابة بالدوار
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أن تكون سابينا امرأة فهذا وضع لم تختره بنفسها، وما هو ليس ناتجاً عن اختيار لا يمكن اعتباره لا استحقاقا ولا فشلا، وسابينا تفكر أنه يفترض بنا حيال وضع فرض علينا ان نتصرف بطريقة مناسبة كما ويبدو لها أيضا أن احتجاجها على كونها امرأة أو الاعتزاز بذلك أمران سخيفان بالقدر ذاته.
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الخيانة، منذ طفولتنا والوالد ومعلم المدرسة يكرران على مسامعنا بانها افظع شئ في الوجود ولكن ما معنى أن نخون؟
أن نخون هو أن نخرج عن الصف لنسير في المجهول، وسابينا لم تعرف ما هو اجمل من السير في المجهول.
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هناك كتب للنهار، وكتب أخرى لا يمكن قراءتا الا في الليل.
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يمكن لنا أن نخون أهلاً وزوجاً ووطناً، ولكن ما الذي يتبقى حين لا يعود هناك أهل لنخونهم أو زوج أو حب أو وطن؟
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اذا كنا نقفل القبر بحجر فهذا لإننا لا نرغب في رجوع الميت الحجر الثقيل يقول له" ابق حيث أنت.
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وحدها الأسئلة الساذجة هي الأسئلة الهامة فعلاً، تلك الأسئلة التي تبقى دون جواب، إن سؤالاً دون جواب حاجز لا طرقات بعده، وبطريقة أخرى/ الأسئلة التي تبقى دون جواب هي التي تشير الى حدود الامكانات الانسانية وهي التي ترسم حدود وجودنا
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لكي نتحاشى العذاب نلجأ في أكثر الأحيان الى المستقبل، فنتصور أن ثمة فاصلاً ما على حلبة الزمن يتوقف بعد العذاب الحالي عن أن يكون موجوداً.
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السؤال الأساسي ليس: هل كانوا عارفين؟ بل: هل هم أبرياء لأنهم غير عارفين؟ إن غبياً جالساً على العرش، أهومنزه عن كل مسؤولية فقط لأنه غبي؟؟
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الحياة الانسانية لا تحدث الا مرة واحدة، ولم يكون في وسعنا أبدا أن نتحقق أي قرار هو الجيد وأي قرار هو السئ، لأننا في كل الحالات لا يمكننا الا أن نقرر مرة واحدة لانه لم تعط لنا حياة ثانية أو ثالثة او رابعة حتى نستطيع أن نقارن بين قرارات مختلفة.
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التاريخ خفيف بقدر ما هي الحياة الانسانية خفيفة، خفيفة بشكل لا يطاق، خفيفة مثل الوبر، مثل غبار متطاير، مثل شئ سي”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“How goodness heightens beauty!”
Milan Kundera
“It was futile to attack with reason the stout wall of irrational feelings that, as is known, is the stuff of which the female mind is made.”
Milan Kundera, Laughable Loves
tags: women
“Necessity knows no magic formulae-they are all left to chance. If a love is to be unforgettable, fortuities must immediately start fluttering down to it like birds to Francis of Assisi's shoulders.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“Before we are forgotten, we will be turned into kitsch. Kitsch is the stopover between being and oblivion.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“In Tereza’s eyes, books were the emblems of a secret brotherhood. For she had but a single weapon against the world of crudity surrounding her: the novels. She had read any number of them, from Fielding to Thomas Mann. They not only offered the possibility of an imaginary escape from a life she found unsatisfying; they also had a meaning for her as physical objects: she loved to walk down the street with a book under her arm. It had the same significance for her as an elegant cane from the dandy a century ago. It differentiated her from others.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“Optimism is the opium of the people.”
Milan Kundera, The Joke
“But what had happened, had happened, and it was no longer possible to right anything.”
Milan Kundera, Laughable Loves
“All novels . . . are concerned with the enigma of the self. As soon as you create an imaginary being, a character, you are automatically confronted by the question: what is the self? How can it be grasped?”
Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel
“Memory cannot be understood, either, without a mathematical approach. The fundamental given is the ratio between the amount of time in the lived life and the amount of time from that life that is stored in memory. No one has ever tried to calculate this ratio, and in fact there exists no technique for doing so; yet without much risk of error I could assume that the memory retains no more than a millionth, a hundred-millionth, in short an utterly infinitesimal bit of the lived life. That fact too is part of the essence of man. If someone could retain in his memory everything he had experienced, if he could at any time call up any fragment of his past, he would be nothing like human beings: neither his loves nor his friendships nor his angers nor his capacity to forgive or avenge would resemble ours.

We will never cease our critique of those persons who distort the past, rewrite it, falsify it, who exaggerate the importance of one event and fail to mention some other; such a critique is proper (it cannot fail to be), but it doesn't count for much unless a more basic critique precedes it: a critique of human memory as such. For after all, what can memory actually do, the poor thing? It is only capable of retaining a paltry little scrap of the past, and no one knows why just this scrap and not some other one, since in each of us the choice occurs mysteriously, outside our will or our interests. We won't understand a thing about human life if we persist in avoiding the most obvious fact: that a reality no longer is what it was when it was; it cannot be reconstructed.”
Milan Kundera
“Tell me, where in life is there a value that would make us consider suicide uncalled for on principle! Love? Or friendship? I guarantee that friendship is not a bit less fickle than love and it is impossible to build anything on it. Self-love? I wish it were possible.”
Milan Kundera, Laughable Loves
“Noise has one advantage. It drowns out words. And suddenly he realized that all his life he had done nothing but talk, write, lecture, concoct sentences, search for formulations and amend them, so in the end no words were precise, their meanings were obliterated, their content lost, they turned into trash, chaff dust, sand; prowling through his brain, tearing at his head. they were his insomnia, his illness. And what he yearned for at that moment, vaguely, but with all his might, was unbounded music, absolute sound, a pleasant and happy all-encompassing, over-poering, window-rattling din to engulf, once and for all, the pain, the futility, the vanity of words. Music was the negation of sentences, music was the anti-word!”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“And there lies the horror: the past we remember is devoid of time. Impossible to reexperience a love the way we reread a book or resee a film.”
Milan Kundera, Ignorance
“Today I know this: when it comes time to take stock, the most painful wound is that of broken friendships; and there is nothing more foolish than to sacrifice a friendship to politics.”
Milan Kundera, Encounter
“Spontaneously, without any theological training, I, a child, grasped the incompatibility of God and shit and thus came to question the basic thesis of Christian anthropology, namely that man was created in God's image. Either/or: either man was created in God's image - and has intestines! - or God lacks intestines and man is not like him.

The ancient Gnostics felt as I did at the age of five. In the second century, the Great Gnostic master Valentinus resolved the damnable dilemma by claiming that Jesus "ate and drank, but did not defecate."

Shit is a more onerous theological problem than is evil. Since God gave man freedom, we can, if need be, accept the idea that He is not responsible for man's crimes. The responsibility for shit, however, rests entirely with Him, the creator of man.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“And I ran after that voice through the streets so as not to lose sight of the splendid wreath of bodies gliding over the city, and I realized with anguish in my heart that they were flying like birds and I was falling like a stone, that they had wings and I would never have any.”
Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
“الحب بالتعريف هو هدية غير مشروطة، أن تكون محبوباً بدون اشتراط لهو البرهان على الحب الحقيقي. لو أخبرتني امرأة: أنا أحبك لأنك ذكي، لأنك لائق، لأنك تبتاع لي الهدايا، لأنك لا تلاحق النساء، لأنك تغسل الأطباق.. حينها سأكون في خيبة أمل، فهكذا حب - في الواقع - هو مشروع مصلحة ذاتية. كم هو أكثر دقة أن نسمع: أنا مجنونة بك ولو لم تكن ذكياً أو لائقاً، حتى ولو كنت كاذباً أو مغروراً أو مجرد لقيط!”
Milan Kundera, Slowness
“True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“The phrase "It's absolutely the same with me, I..." seems to be an approving echo, a way of continuing the other's thought, but that is an illusion: in reality it is a brute revolt against a brutal violence, an effort to free our own ear from bondage and to occupy the enemy's ear by force. Because all of man's life among his kind is nothing other than a battle to seize the ear of others.”
Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
“Do you realize that people don't know how to read Kafka simply because they want to decipher him? Instead of letting themselves be carried away by his unequaled imagination, they look for allegories — and come up with nothing but clichés: life is absurd (or it is not absurd), God is beyond reach (or within reach), etc. You can understand nothing about art, particularly modern art, if you do not understand that imagination is a value in itself.”
Milan Kundera
tags: kafka
“The religion of orgasm: utilitarianism projected into sex life; efficiency versus indolence; coition reduced to an obstacle to be got past as quickly as possible in order to reach an ecstatic explosion, the only true goal of love-making and of the universe.”
Milan Kundera, Slowness
“...[P]eople who shout joy from the rooftops are often the saddest of all... (p.24)”
Milan Kundera, The Joke
“Only after a while did it occur to me (in spite of the chilly silence which surrounded me) that my story was not of the tragic sort, but rather of the comic variety.

At any rate that afforded me some comfort.”
Milan Kundera, Laughable Loves
“أليس من ذلك بد؟
ليس من ذلك بد.”
Milan Kundera
“I know, brother, that you are a straightforward man, and that you pride yourself on it. But put one question to yourself: why in fact should one tell the truth? What obliges us to do it? And why do we consider telling the truth a virtue? Imagine that you meet a madman, who claims that he is a fish and that we are all fish. Are you going to argue with him? Are you going to undress in front of him and show him that you don't have fins? Are you going to say to his face what you think? Well, tell me!'

His brother was silent and Edward went on: 'If you told him the whole truth and nothing but the truth, only what you really thought, you would enter into a serious conversation with a madman and you yourself would become mad. And it is the same way with the world that surrounds us. If I obstinately told a man the truth to his face, it would mean I was taking him seriously. And to take something so unimportant seriously means to become less than serious oneself. I, you see, must lie, if I don't want to take madmen seriously and become one of them myself.”
Milan Kundera, Laughable Loves
“The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order.”
Milan Kundera, Farewell Waltz


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