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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  7,452 ratings  ·  332 reviews
After the gravity of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Immortality," "Slowness" comes as a surprise: It is certainly Kundera's lightest novel, a "divertimento," an "opera buffa," with, as the author himself says, "not a single serious word in it"; then, too, it is the first of his novels to have been written in French (in the eyes of the French public, turning him d...more
Unknown Binding
Published December 20th 1996 by Faber & Faber (first published 1995)
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Emir Never
A variation of a joke I'd like to throw any unsuspecting inquisitor as to why I love Milan Kundera's Ignorance:

"Did you like it?"
Me: "Yes, I love it."
"What it's about?"
Me: "I don't know."
"You love it and you don't know what it's all about?"
Me : "That's why I love it, Ignorance."

I always get a mental chuckle out of that one. Silly, no?

Yesterday, me and my wife (pregnant and utterly grand), decided to hang out at Powerbooks Megamall to read.

I picked out Kundera's Slowness, bent on reading it fast....more

There is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting. Consider this utterly commonplace situation: a man is walking down the street. At a certain moment, he tries to recall something, but the recollection escapes him. Automatically, he slows down. Meanwhile, a person who wants to forget a disagreeable incident he has just lived through starts unconsciously to speed up his space, as if he were trying to distance himself from a thing still too close to him in time.
Fatema Alammar
أخشى أني تحوّلت إلى قارئة "صوفيّة" لكل ما يكتبه كونديرا، قرأتُ الكتاب بمتعة أثارتْ استغرابي، المتعة أمرٌ نسبي فعلا، أتساءل كم قارئا سيعاني "الضجر" وهو يقرأ "البطء" ؟

فتنةُ البطء ، أو الاسترخاء، أو "تأمل نوافذ الله" كما يقول مثلٌ تشيكي، هو أحد علائم السعادة ..
أما السرعة، فهي، ظمأ لا يرتوي، ظمأ للمحو والنسيان ..

هذه عبارات أعجبتني

- في الواقع، هناك حالة يكون فيها الصوت الأشد ضعفا مسموعا وذلك عندما ينطق بأفكار تزعجنا.
- لا شيء أكثر إهانة من عدم إيجاد إجابة جارحة كرد على هجوم جارح.
- هل نحن جميعا، في شرك
تا وقتی این کتاب رو نخوندم نمیدونستم کوندرا واقعا کیه
از خانوم دریا نیامی بخاطر این ترجمه بدون سانسور ممنونم
من نسخه الکترونیکی کتاب رو خوندم و خیلی خوشحالم که بدون سانسور بود
در کتاب جهالت اینقدر سانسور شده بود که معنای کتاب هم عوض شده بود
اما در مورد کتاب:
کتابی فوق العاده زیبا در مورد تفاوت بین آهستگی و سرعت
سرعت را تکنولوژی و پیشرفت بوجود آورد و این سرعت در همه زندگی انسان ها نفوذ کرده،حتی در خصوصی ترین روابط مثل روابط جنسی
کوندرا نویسنده ای است که از بیان حقایق نمی ترسد و دنیای مدرن را از طریق ادب...more
Mohit Parikh
What the author cannot be accused here of is shoveling down half-formed, floating philosophies. One of them:
"In existential mathematics...two basic equations: the degree of slowness is directly proportion to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting."
He falls short; and that is because the intention is not to convince. The intention is to tantalize. Seduce. Play with your pride, redden your cheeks, lure you in then catch you unawares. If...more
 Lio  Proeliator
أنا قاريء غير محايد لميلان كونديرا، لا أقدر إلا على أن أتوحد مع النص لدرجة تمكّنه من التطفل حتى على لاوعيي أثناء النوم، البطء مرحلة مليئة بالتوازيات والتقاطعات لا تقدر إلا على أن تستمتع بها إلى أقصاها..
I probably shouldn't have read a book titled Slowness so quickly.
"منبع الخوف يكمن في المستقبل, من تحرر من المستقبل لا يخشي شيئا"
مقتبس من الرواية

رواية جميلة جدا عمل فني موقع من كونديرا و ابداع في فن الرواية
كونديرا لاعب ماهر يستخدم الافكار كاداة بناء للدراما و يقوم برسم الصور المعقدة في مواقف بسيطة جدا

الرواية تناقش فكرة البطء بدأها بتسليط الضوء علي رواية (ليلة بلا غد Les Liaisons dangereuses) من القرن الثامن عشر كانت احدي الكونتيسات عشيقة لاحد الماركيزات و دخل في الصورة عاشق جديد و مع احداث تلك الرواية ظهرت فكرة الاستمتاع ببطء حركة العلاقة و تعقيدها و تمهل الك...more

هناك شعور أظن أن كل من قرءوا لميلان كونديرا مروا به، حالما تنتهي من أي رواية من رواياته تشعر بأنها رائعة، وأنك استمتعت بها، ولكنك رغم هذا كله، لا تجد ما تقوله عنها، كل روايات كونديرا بلا مبالغة تحتاج إلى قراءة ثانية مباشرة، تلي القراءة الأولى، وتحاول لصق الفكرة المتشظية التي خرجنا بها منها.

رواية كونديرا هذه مثال جيد على هذا، فرغم قصر الرواية – 118 صفحة – إلا أنها احتوت عدة مسارات بشخصيات مختلفة، بحيث تنتهي الرواية، ونحن ما زلنا نفكر، ما الذي أراد كونديرا قوله؟

الفكرة التي وصلت إليها يمثله...more
Re-read this book the other day. Much better than the first time around. I still wish that Kundera had developed his first person story a little more, but I suppose that wasn't the point.

My favorite scene in the novel was that of the Czech entomologist caught up in an emotional state so far that he doesn't remember to deliver his paper at the conference. It is simultaneously hilarious and heart breaking. I felt my face turn red with his when he, 15 minutes after the fact, finally realized his e...more
Questo libro è matto, perciò urge un commento a caldo, matto anch’esso. Eccolo: se mi chiedete di cosa parla questo libro rispondo “Oddio.. e chi lo sa?”. Ma se mi chiedete se mi è piaciuto ecco la risposta “Ammazza se m’è piaciuto!!”.

Fino a pagina 11 mi dicevo che questo libro era la conferma a ciò che avevo intuito precedentemente negli altri libri di Kundera: e cioè che Kundera è un genio assoluto.

Poi, con l’andar delle pagine qualcosa ha cominciato a suonarmi in modo stonato. L’ambientazione...more
As with every book by Kundera, I finished it and was stunned. I never really know where to begin with his books. I love them, that's for sure, and he's one of my favorite writers, but he touches upon so many things in each book that I always feel that I missed something! The beauty of Kundera's writing is the way he portrays the human psyche. I haven't read too many writers that do such a fantastic job of defining a character's thoughts as he does. What I really enjoyed about Slowness is that it...more
I had to read this a couple of times to absorbe everything Milan Kundera was trying to say. It was worth the effort. Despite being a bit surreal, or pehaps because of it, the storyscape of this book is a bit more lush than in some of his other works. His characters are all blatent actors filling the roll of themselves- sometimes excessively so. Kundera's societal commentary runs rampent through the few books of his that I've read. It remains so with this one, also, but there seem to be more lay...more
One of my least favorites of Milan Kundera's books (I love Kundera). However, the introduction should be mandatory reading for anyone who I call a friend. If you are ever in a bookstore or library pick it up and read the first chapter. You can skip the remainder of the book (I'll put other Kundera reviews up at some point).

Milan Kundera frequently begins his books with an observation in of the world. The story is then constructed illustrate his theory. As the title suggests it is about taking yo...more
Charli B-
As I am sitting at my computer, fingers hovering over and tapping different letters, I’m wondering what to write about Slowness. Slowness was an interesting read, that’s for sure. It’s my first Milan Kundera book that was given to me by a friend who didn’t want to collect the books she reads -I know, I don’t understand either!!!- anyway, I’m here, propped on my computer chair and wondering...

What did I think of this book? I’m a bit confused on that question. I know it made me think, but I also...more
Nikolay Mollov
Добре, добре!

Отдавна не се бях смял така хубаво, докато чета книга.

Отново дълбокопроницателен, психологически и философски сюжет, допълнен със задължителната пикантна порция забавен и куриозен сарказъм.

Кундера е гениален архитект в сглобяването на понятия. С помощта на всяка своя сглобка той безусловно и трайно успява да посее оригиналните си идеи в съзнанието на читателя. След всяка негова книга в градинката на читателя поникват семената на нови растения, за да допълват хармонията на по-рано по...more
Mahmoud mehrabi
برای ما یعنی ایرانیها سانسور جزئی از فرهنگمان شده است. خواندن کتاب بدون سانسور آن هم از میلان کوندرا لذتبخش است. روایت ماهرانه اروتیکی داستان که قطعا برای هر خواننده ای جذاب است یک طرف و به ابتذال نکشاندن آن طرف دیگر. آن هم بازی با واژه های تابو شده حداقل در فرهنگ ما...
به قول عباس معروفی، پورن و اروتیسم هم مرز هستند ولی یکی در دره و دیگری در قله جای گرفته اند
Nate D
Oct 22, 2011 Nate D rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: even entimologists are humans
Recommended to Nate D by: chevaliers
Considering that this is mostly concerned with an assessment of the vanity and pettiness of all of humanity, and of camera-eyed, speed-frenzied modernity, this is surprisingly light-handed and brisk. Even when it's rapidly advancing a tightly inter-structured philosophical course of study. Partly because Kundera ultimately seems accepting of what he finds about his characters, even when it is far from flattering. People are all this way, but ultimately that's okay. It's just how they are. I gues...more
Salma Hasan
أسلوب كونديرا بيعتمد على منهج تمثيلي ، بحيث إنه هيلقي حدث غامض جداً في البداية و بعدين بهدوء و ببطء شديدين بيبدأ هو يعيّش نفسه جواه ، لغاية ما يوصل للذروة التامة فيه ، و تبدأ خيوط الرواية كمثال توضيحي لغموض الحدث دا

أدبية كونديرا بتيجي وسط الكلام ، الرواية عنده زي حاجة غصبٍ عنه كتبها عشان يوضح فكرته

و في الرواية دي وصل لدرجة مبهرة من الإنسجام التام بين حياته ككاتب بيداعب الخيوط الأولية لروايته اللي بيحاول يكتبها و بين اندماج حياته الواقعية اللي هو موجود بالفعل فيها و بين الشخوص اللي هيتخيلها على م...more
Kundera is masterful at threading a narrative in the service of his personnal philosophy, as he demonstrates in Slowness. Kundera believes the fast-moving modern world has lost its sense of memory, speeding from one encounter or social performance to the next. The play of sexual relations (a common Kundera theme) figures prominently. He prefers that we linger more often in our moments of pleasure, drawing the experience out, creating more savorable memories. Kundera ties the plight of his modern...more
Paul JB
I think Kundera's prose is becoming ever more free form in his old age - I can almost envisage him simply rattling the entire book off verbatim in some ad hoc after dinner speech. If this sounds like a criticism then it isn't intentional; even when he seems like he's spraying his life philosophy indiscriminately in every direction he still hits more often than he misses, and I suppose that still the best thing I can say about his work is that I have never read (nor expect to read) anything quite...more
For those who've read other Kundera works, I felt this was an abrupt introduction to his style. Perhaps other felt otherwise (anyone?), but I didn't feel there was anything in Slowness that Kundera did not present in much eloquent, effective way in his other books. Rather, I found Slowness too much a touch too vulgar and misogynistic.

High points:

"An ode to sensuous leisure, to the enjoyment of pleasure rather than just the search for it."
- This was actually a review on the back cover. But it'...more
Ben Jackson
This may be my favorite book, and that is saying something - I read a *lot.*

Milan Kundera has an ability - possibly more than any other living writer - to amaze me with a turn of a few words. I'll often find myself laughing out loud when reading him, not because his somethign funny happened in the book, but because his language went somewhere so wonderfully unexpected.

Slowness is the first book that Kunder wrote in French (as opposed to his native Czech), and there are some variations in his wri...more
sahar salman
هناك شعور يستحوذ علي حين الإنتهاء من أي عمل لكونديرا. وهو الإعجاب الكبير والغموض الأكبر. هذا العمل سيجعلك تفكر بعد الإنتهاء من الكتاب في كل حركة تقوم بها وتراها أمامك، إنه يحلل قواعد السلوكيات البشرية الناتجة من عواطفنا والذاكرة والمشاعر القائمة إما على الحزن الشديد أو الفرح الشديد. المعاناة ناتجة من الألم والسرعة ناتجة من الرغبة الجامحه في التخلص من هذا الألم. السعادة ناتجة من الحب والبطئ ناتج من التمهل في تذكر هذا الحب وممارسته بكافة الطرق المؤدية إلى التوغل في المحبوب أكثر. إنه يفسر لنا نظرية...more
"'lentoarea' este martutia unui spectator consternat, dar nu lipsit de reactie in fata narcisismului gaunos si ridicol al 'balerinilor' [concept inventat de kundera si susceptibil de a face scoala] de pe scena occidentala a zilelor noastre."

cum defineste kundera 'balerinul': "toti oamenii politici de azi sint un pic balerini, si toti balerinii sint amestecati in politica [...] balerinul se deosebeste de omul politic obisnuit, prin faptul ca nu rivneste puterea, ci gloria; nu vrea sa impuna lumii...more
Nov 02, 2007 maren rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes kundera
There are parts of this book I still describe to friends because Kundera perfectly expresses the universal actions, mistakes, and feelings. Even though you are not a French politician or a Czech entymoligist, you will identify with them, you will see them in your friends, you will laugh at them, you will see things you don't like in yourself and things that are endearing. You will examine yourself and what motivates people around you.
الشيء الوحيد المتبقي لنا هو الثورة ضد الشرط الانساني الذي لم نختره*

Farhan Khalid
Maybe the man hunched over his motorcycle can focus only on the present instant of his flight

He is caught in a fragment of time cut off from both the past and the future

He is wrenched from the continuity of time, he is outside time

In other words, he is in a state of ecstasy

Speed is the form of ecstasy the technical revolution has bestowed on man

A curious alliance: the cold impersonality of technology with the flames of ecstasy

Why has the pleasure of slowness disappeared?

Fundamental notion of he...more
Julie Rylie
As all the books from Kundera, this one got me speechless as well, I think all of his books should be called The unbearable lightness of being because that’s the ultimate sensation that remains while you’re reading it and if you’re thinking about it.

This one was obviously about the concept of slowness, he mixes up 2 stories passed in the same spot but in different eras (XVIII century and XX century) and those stories are kind of alike, it culminates in the possession of a body that won’t belong...more
Not sure how to describe or review this book, except to say that I find it rather daunting that this is apparently considered one of Kundera's lightest works. It is very philosophical, theorizing about the modern world's obsession with speed (and this was written over a decade ago - if he only knew) and its relation to our desire to forget. I don't think he means forgetting in the micro-ish sense (where are my keys, what was my high school locker combination) so much as the macro sense - repress...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 The Joke Laughable Loves

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“Love is by definition an unmerited gift; being loved without meriting it is the very proof of real love. If a woman tells me: I love you because you're intelligent, because you're decent, because you buy me gifts, because you don't chase women, because you do the dishes, then I'm disappointed; such love seems a rather self-interested business. How much finer it is to hear: I'm crazy about you even though you're neither intelligent nor decent, even though you're a liar, an egotist, a bastard.” 513 likes
“There is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting.

A man is walking down the street. At a certain moment, he tries to recall something, but the recollection escapes him. Automatically, he slows down.

Meanwhile, a person who wants to forget a disagreeable incident he has just lived through starts unconsciously to speed up his pace, as if he were trying to distance himeself from a thing still too close to him in time.

The degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgettin”
More quotes…