Milan Kundera
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  13,561 ratings  ·  464 reviews
En la Checoslovaquia comunista, Ludvik, un joven universitario, ha caído en desgracia ante el Comité.
El motivo: una broma incomprendida, un chiste poco afortunado para un país que ha perdido su sentido del humor; un país que vive una épica solemne, donde sólo se permite la alegría por el triunfo obrero y no se admite la picardía.
Ludvik es expulsado del Partido, de la Univ...more
Published (first published 1967)
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On Monday at around 3 o'clock in the afternoon I decided I was going to read "The Joke." I don't really know why; it occurred to me out of the blue -- the only thought I'd ever given Kundera before that point was that the titles of his books obviously lived in a world devoid of irony in order to persist in their existence, and that that unironic world was one I wanted no part of. On the other hand, I really liked the title "The Joke" and I'd always liked the font in which it was written. That wa...more
I like Kundra because he doesn’t imprison me in a fastened frame of a classic narration. Reading Kundra seems as if you meet an old friend after ages in a cafe shop, and while she/he relates her / his life story, you zip your coffee, listen to the cafe music, hear some chats and laughs at nabouring tables, look at the peddlers at side walk, or a passing tramvay, … as life is flowing around, ….

کوندرا را به این دلیل بسیار دوست دارم که مرا در چهارچوب بسته ی یک روایت زندانی نمی کند. خواندن کونرا مث...more
Fatema Alammar
رواية لا يستطيع كتابتها إلا قلمٌ بارع حدّ "الشيطنة" وحدّ "إثارة الرعب" ..
لا تكشف أسرارها وجمالياتها إلا بتأنٍ وتمهّل فاتن،.فــ على الرغم من تمحور الكتاب حول قدرة "مزحةٍ" ما على تغيير مسار حيوات ومصائر، إلا أن هذه الفكرة المتألقة وحدها ليستْ سر هذه الرواية. إنها هذه الحبكة السردية التي تجاوزت حدّ الإتقان إلى المكر اللذيذ، والتلاعب الخلاّق.

كنتُ أقرأ، ثم أعود إلى صفحات سابقة، وأنا متأكدة أن هذا المشهد قد مرّ علي سابقا. لأكتشف، أن روايته تمت عن طريق شخصية مختلفة، وبزاوية "نفسية" مختلفة. كل هذا يحدث،...more
Farhan Khalid
"Let me be perfectly honest: I was a man of many faces."

"They were all real"

"I had several faces because I was young and didn't know who I was or wanted to be.

"She was constitutionally unable to look behind anything; she could only see the thing itself"

"Optimism is the opium of the people! A healthy atmosphere stinks of stupidity! Long live Trotsky!"

"A nihilist likes a good laugh, said one of them. He laughs at people who suffer."

"the only human bond we had was our uncertain future"

"Slowly I cam...more
Read this book in my spare time during a short stint working in a bookstore and it immediately and I dare say permanently lodged itself into my list of beloved books.

Why this book's rating lies below four stars befuddles me. It's an exciting and provocative tale of the dehumanization of a person by an autocratic state. Fuck 1984 and Brave New World; Kundera saw them all and raised.
Dec 16, 2007 Mehdimalek added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ادبيات
شوخي از اولين رمانهاي ميلان كوندراست كه ما با سرخوردگي هاي مردي مواجه مي شويم كه يك شوخي با اصول حزب كمونيست چكسلواكي سالهاي دهه 1960 تمامي زندگي اش زير و رو مي شود.خوش بيني ترياك توده هاست شوخي او با جمله معروف ماركس:دين ترياك توده هاست.روابط آدمها و شي شدگي انسان در برابر توتاليتريسم حزب در بستري از جريانات تاريخي از خصوصيات كوندراست.
It always takes me a little while to process books before I can decide how I truly feel about them. The words that pop into mind right after finishing the book are sad, ironic, bittersweet. The regrets of life & looking back, the loss of culture through time. There is also a feel emanating from the book coming from a Communist-era society, the pressures of needing to fit in (vs. standing out), an overall melancholy (amidst the dark, ironic humor) that permeates some eastern European works of...more
Dan Keating
In "The Joke" we have vintage Kundera - emotionally and intellectually challenging, ripe with the intertwining symbolism of the banal and the mystical, filled to the brim with romance, tragedy, comedy, and a pastiche of kitsch, which never once falls into kitsch itself. Invoking a bit of irony, the novel is quite simply "marvelous."

"The Joke" tells the story of several characters at various points in a more-or-less fifteen year period, but is principally the tale of Ludvik Jahn, a fallen Czech C...more
Knar   Avetisyan
«Оптимизм — опиум для народа. От здорового духа несет тупостью. Да здравствует Троцкий!»

«Шутка» — роман чешского писателя Милана Кундеры, автора знаменитого романа «Невыносимая легкость бытия».
Повествование в романе идёт от лица четырёх персонажей, и собственно разделен на части, о которых повествует каждый персонаж от себя: Людвик, Ярослав, Костка и Гелена.
Этот роман поистине должен заглавляться в кавычках, потому что это вовсе не шутка. Одна простая фраза, написанная на открытке, просто для т...more
Lamiaa Basyoni
وحده كونديرا القادر على أن يتناول هذا النوع من الموضوعات دون أن يترك الملل يتسرب ولو للحظة الى نفسك
أيدولوجيا الحكم الشيوعي هي الاطار العام للرواية , والذي تدور في فلكه مصائر أبطالها .. في رأيي الصراع بين الفرد-والحرية الفردية- وبين هيمنة الحزب لم يكن هو أهم خيوط الرواية
فالصراع بداخل كل شخصية , بين ما يريده وما ينبغي له .. هو ما يجعلك تتوقف كثيرا امامه متأملا حالك أنت نفسك

طريقة السرد متعددة الرواة تعامل معها كونديرا بحرفية عالية
القسم الاخير من الرواية اتسم بايقاع سريع , دون أن يفقد خط تأملاته...more
There were definitely times when I wanted to breakdown about my own life while reading this book. I wanted to shake my fist and curse the powers that be for being cruel tricksters for playing us all in one long painful joke. However, what do you do at the end of the joke? Laugh. This book inspires you want to laugh too and to realize the futility of hanging on to every personal injustice that has been been committed against you; likely you are no better than the perpetrator, and he/she is no wor...more
هیچ زنی نمی تواند تا ابد به یک عشق بچه گانه قانع باشد . پاول کاملا راضی بود . او از آسایش بی تعهدی لذت می برد ، هر مردی در وجودش یک رگه خودخواهی دارد ، بر زن است که از خود و از ماموریت خود به عنوان یک زن دفاع کند .
La versión cruda, por real, de un 1984 en la que el pensamiento único destroza todo intento de mejora social. Cuando el individuo desaparece, se esconden también, todos sus milagros.
I am disappointed to have ignored Milan Kundera for such a long time but Milan Kundera happened at the right time of my life. Doubts, questions that have been pounding in my head, deception, remorse and nostalgia-I found all that in the book.

No, the book was not the search of an almost recluse to discover parallel thoughts. ‘The Joke’ just happened. Yes there is a plot but the ideas and debates were what made the book effective. Uncanny and cruel be the fact that stray thoughts, innocent musing...more
Pierre E. Loignon
L'écriture de Kundera incarne l'absence de tout sérieux, de toute décision existentielle permettant de donner un sens vraiment satisfaisant à la vie d'un être humain. Pour interrompre la grisaille insipide de l'atmosphère absurde où chacun de ses personnages est forcé de respirer, il ne devrait leur rester que les courts instants lumineux que constituent les plaisirs de la chair, mais ça irait sans compter les moments de grande obscurité, où la chair se heurte de plein fouet à sa finitude.
Avec l...more
I read this in the Czech Republic once, to see it in its bare setting and atmosphere, although Kundera has really lived in Paris for quite some time. I've read many of Kundera's books and loved them, but many parts of the Czech Republic are positively stultifying, as Kafka conveyed and Kundera says more or less outright in this book. He is describing the atmosphere under Soviet-controlled communism of the past, but I won't take it back.

Funnily enough, The Joke, Kundera's first novel I think, has...more
Molood Moosavi
چند سال قبل کتاب "بار هستی" از میلان کوندارا رو خونده بودم و اونقدری خوب بود که دوست داشته باشم کتاب دیگری از این نویسنده رو هم بخونم!
...شوخی کتابی بسیار مفید و خواندنی است و نحوه ی روایت داستان بسیار جذاب!
تنها نکته ی منفی کتاب -که بسیار جزئی و قابل اغماض است- قسمتی است که نویسنده با تفصیلِ زیادی به توضیح نوت های موسیقی می پردازد که به نطر من بهتر بود کوتاه تر و خلاصه تر نوشته میشد
Existential. Chauvinistic. Political. Whatever label you aim to apply to Kundera, there is only one word that truly describes who he is and what he is to the novel: Artist. Kundera owns a lot of real estate on my book shelf. So, having read a lot of his work I can say that as his first novel, The Joke demonstrates that Kundera developed an early mastery of his stylistic use of multiple narrators to explore the intentions of human thought and emotion. As is appreciated in all of Kundera’s work, t...more
There was a time when I read a lot of Milan Kundera but with the exception of The joke they have blended together in my memory.

The novel is a twist on a revenge novel like The Count of Monte Cristo. There has been a wrong here too and the perpetrator of it has moved in the Hero's love. The digging though is part of the punishment and not a means to escape. The twist though is that the attempt at revenge goes awry.

What we see instead is a series of contrasts between the plans, hopes and expectati...more
Aug 08, 2013 Hoda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nazanin Po
بر خلاف سایر کتاب هایی که من از کوندرا خواندم این یکی بخش بیشتری از کتاب رو برای تعریف داستانی در دنیایی غیر از دنیای درون مغز و فکر انسان -آنطوری که سبک نوشتاری این نویسنده هستش_ صرف کرده بود. این توضیح زندگی کاراکتر ها هم پیش درامدی برای توضیح کاراکتر ها بود در بخش های بعدی.
در کل سبک کوندرا بیشتر به بازنمایی و شفاف سازی درون انسان برمیگردد. افکار و نیت های خالص انسان رو سعی دارد بیان کند.
بنظر من درک و احساس همبستگی این کتاب ها بستگی به گذراندن دوره های مشابه دارد. برای مثال من با وجود اینکه ط...more
my favourite quote:
“I had always liked to tell myself that Lucie was something abstract, a legend and a myth, but now I knew that behind the poetry of these words hid an entirely unpoetic truth: that I didn’t know her; that I didn’t know her as she really was, as she was in and to herself. I had been able to perceive (in my youthful egocentricity) only those aspects of her being that were turned directly to me (to my loneliness, my captivity, my yearning for tenderness and affection); she had ne...more
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Lucie Novak
My favourite Kundera book. But will a non-Czech understand? Not sure.
The story of what happens to naive revolutionaries when they get older and want to re-live their youth?
Perfect psychological dissections, complicated plot.
If you want to understand 1968 Prague spring, read this book.
I know see why they call this novel "one of the most important novels of the 20th century". Kundera is unsurpassed! He weaves the very fabric of the society, culture and mentality into every written word. It gives us a deep and analytic glimpse into the society in former Czechoslovakia, under the communist regime, but the time, place and the mentality can be translated into many other (similar) societies. The book breaks down ideology, exposes the flaws, gives raw emotion. I am honestly at a los...more
Dayes Mohammed
الأمر لا يخلو من مزحة ، على العكس الحياة تُبنى على مزحة و تنهار من مزحة ، هكذا كانت الحياة في مزحة كونديرا ، الانتقال من طور الحياة الطبيعية إلى المأساة بسبب مزحة إلى تحوّل الحياة ذاتها إلى مزحة ، من طور الإنسان الطبيعي إلى طور المظلوم إلى الجلاد إلى الإنسان الذي يحيا في الفراغ ، باختصار هذه هي قصة الرواية ، التحوّلات التي يمر بها الإنسان في بلد ٍ يعاني من الانغلاق ، و محدودية الفرص التي تحوّل الرفاق إلى أعداء و انتهازيين من أجل مصالحهم الشخصية تحت الشعارات الكبرى التي يتبنونها .

بالنسبة لميلان ك...more
Priscila Jordão
"É, agora eu via com clareza: a maioria das pessoas se entrega à miragem de uma dupla crença: acredita na perenidade da memória (dos homens, das coisas, dos atos, das nações) e na possibilidade de reparar (os atos, os erros, os pecados, as injustiças). Uma é tão falsa quanto a outra. A verdade se situa justamente no oposto: tudo será esquecido e nada será reparado. O papel da reparação (tanto pela vingança quanto pelo perdão) será representado pelo esquecimento. Ninguém irá reparar as injustiças...more
Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
Life always has the last laugh. It's the only way I can explain Lady Gaga.
Marik Casmon
Judging by the cover, I do not know whether this is the edition of "The Joke" that I just finished reading two times in a row. Kundera's note in my book says that it is the fifth English language translation and the most accurate, and he is quite critical of earlier translations. My copy was published by HarperPerennial in 1992. That said, it is one of the few novels I have read more than once. In fact, it is perhaps the only novel that I've read back-to-back. Take that as a very high recommenda...more
John Meddick
"... and I felt happy inside these songs where sorrow is not lightness, laughter is not grimace, love is not laughable, and hatred is not timid, where people love with body and soul, where they dance in joy, jump into the Danube in despair, where love is still love and pain is pain, where values are not yet devastated; and it seemed to me that inside these songs I was at home, that I derive from them, and if I had betrayed this home, I had only made it all the more my home; but I was equally awa...more

He quedado prendada de los personajes, me emocionó el final, me hizo sentirme triste, desilusionada, pero también moría de la risa con las ironías y humillaciones humanas tras la búsqueda de un final digno, de una venganza, de la cúspide de una desesperación mal aplicada.

La historia implica una simple acción que busca venganza y algo vil, que fue provocada por una serie de hechos en la vida del protagonista. Personajes que cruzan sus caminos de alguna manera, terminan conociéndose,...more
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Milan Kundera is a Czech and French writer of Czech origin who has lived in exile in France since 1975, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1981. He is best known as the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, and The Joke.

Kundera has written in both Czech and French. He revises the French translations of all his books; these therefore are not conside...more
More about Milan Kundera...
The Unbearable Lightness of Being The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Immortality Laughable Loves Identity

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“I was not a hypocrite, with one real face and several false ones. I had several faces because I was young and didn't know who I was or wanted to be.” 182 likes
“Yes, suddenly I saw it clearly: most people deceive themselves with a pair of faiths: they believe in eternal memory (of people, things, deeds, nations) and in redressibility (of deeds, mistakes, sins, wrongs). Both are false faiths. In reality the opposite is true: everything will be forgotten and nothing will be redressed. The task of obtaining redress (by vengeance or by forgiveness) will be taken over by forgetting. No one will redress the wrongs that have been done, but all wrongs will be forgotten.” 73 likes
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