Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts” as Want to Read:
The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts

by
3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,496 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
"A magic curtain, woven of legends, hung before the world," writes Milan Kundera in The Curtain, his fascinating new book on the art of the novel. "Cervantes sent Don Quixote journeying and tore through the curtain. The world opened before the knight-errant in all the comical nakedness of its prose." For Kundera, that curtain represents a ready-made perception of the world ...more
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published April 7th 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Curtain, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Curtain

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jibran
Apr 30, 2015 Jibran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-crit
"Every novelist that writes today is actually in dialogue with his predecessors."

Milan Kundera, who in my estimation is a great novelist, transmits that fascinating dialogue to the readers in this collection of short essays that when I picked up I knew would interest me. I am a keen reader of writers' [not critics'] musings on the art of fiction and this one surpassed my expectations; it turned out to be pure education.

It's not possible to take stock of all the themes, issues, and topics Kunder
...more
Мартин Касабов
Завесата: http://izumen.blogspot.com/2015/01/bl...

Милан Кундера не е най-симпатичният автор за четене. Малко е дръпнат, суров, на места дори претенциозен и романите му страшно се повтарят. Но пък есетата му мога да ги чета всеки ден. "Завесата" всъщност е едно дълго есе, разделено в седем части, което се фокусира върху развитието на романа и по-точно върху неговата прозаичност.

Според Кундера всичко започва със Сервантес и Рабле. Те са първите, които втъкават комичното в героичните си истории. Ко
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Le rideau: essai en sept parties, Milan Kundera
عنوان: پرده - جستاری در هفت بخش؛ میلان کوندرا؛ مترجم: کتایون شهپرراد؛ آذین حسینزاده؛ تهران، قطره، 1385، در 200 ص، شابک: 9789643415235؛
...more
Ben Winch
Sep 03, 2012 Ben Winch rated it really liked it
Lately I've been reading a lot about the craft of fiction - James Wood's How Fiction Works, Paris Review interviews, even Stephen King's On Writing - but this is something different, not so much about craft as philosophy, and as original and insightful as pretty much anything I've read on subject of the novel. Here is Kundera talking about Goethe's concept of Die Weltliteratur (World Literature):
For, open any textbook, any anthology: world literature is always presented as a juxtaposition of nat
...more
Shweta Ganesh Kumar
Jun 03, 2013 Shweta Ganesh Kumar rated it really liked it
A must read for any writer who is serious about the craft of writing and about the history of the novel in particular.
So wonderfully written, that I dare not even attempt a review.

In the curtain, Milan Kundera talks about the rules novelists have traditionally followed to create their masterpieces. And then he talks about how important it is to break these very rules.

He talks about the continuity of consciousness that gives context to every work of fiction.
Milan Kundera says that many a time
...more
Đông Huynh
Feb 11, 2015 Đông Huynh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-on-book
M.K là một trong số rất ít những nhà văn có thể viết nên những cuốn tiểu thuyết rất hay và những cuốn tiểu luận văn chương thật tuyệt vời.
P/s: Cảm giác sau khi đọc xong cuốn này là muốn chộp ngay Don Quixote để đọc =))
Jen Estrella
Sep 30, 2014 Jen Estrella rated it really liked it
Kundera is…Kundera. He's brilliant. Of course I prefer his novels, I've never been a big short story or essay lover, but Kundera is just..GENIUS. 'Nuff said.
Max Karpovets
Mar 22, 2012 Max Karpovets rated it really liked it
Shelves: essay
взагалі читати Мілана Кундеру можу всього. є у нього слабші речі (скажімо, перший його роман "Жарт"), а є просто геніальні - практично всі після "Нестерпної легкості буття" (дивно, що перейшовши на мову країни, що породила в принципі оформлену і зшиту дорогу роману, Кундера наче знаходить правильне дихання, відкриває приховані шляхи і дороги). однак крім Кундери-романіста є ще Кундера-есеїст, який задає теж високу планку не тільки для письменників, але й для філософів, культурологів, антропологі ...more
Jamie
Apr 23, 2008 Jamie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: life-long learners. :)
Oh I feel smarter for having read it, but I've got to be honest, it's much too...(sad to say) French-oriented. Not that I don't love France--I do. And not that I don't feel a certain interior pleasure for knowing what he's talking about: I love Ionesco, Balzac, Camus. Heck, even his "foreign" books are on my radar...The Metamorphosis. And it's a fun read, as essay often are--they're nice little coffee talks, dinner party conversations, etc. The problem is, he warns against this sort of behavior, ...more
Rebecca
Jun 23, 2007 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: litcrit
Milan Kundera's essay draws the curtain back to reveal the treasures of "die Weltliteratur" as he traces the threads of continuity in novels by Rabelais, Cervantes, Fielding, Dostoevsky, Kafka and many more. He eschews the cultural "isms" that weigh down our understanding of literature.
Although a work of non-fiction, The Curtain is a beautiful exposition on aesthetics as it is applied not only to literature, but to music as well. Kundera tells us to read and re-read with new eyes, unfettered by
...more
Մառա
Mar 14, 2016 Մառա rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Ահագին դուրս եկավ Միլան Կունդերան որպես գրաքննադատ: Քննարկված հեղինակներից ու գրքերից ոչ բոլորին էի ծանոթ, բայց ինձ ծանոթ մասի մասին կարծում եմ իրոք ճիշտ դատողություններ էին, հետաքրքիր մանրամասնություններ՝ հետաքրքիր մեկնաբանություններով:

Հատկապես հետաքրքիր էր Կունդերայի կարծիքը էն մասին, թե ինչ ազդեցություն ունեն ազգությունն ու բնակության վայրը գրողի ճանաչման վրա:

Մեկ էլ, հետաքրքիր բան, որ նոր իմացա: «Վուլգար» բառը առաջացել ա «vulgus»` ժողովուրդ բառից: Վուլգար ա համարվում էն, ինչ դուր ա գալիս ժող
...more
Quân Khuê
Apr 02, 2015 Quân Khuê rated it really liked it
Trong lần vén màn nhìn lại này, lại nhìn ra một số thứ chưa thấy ở lần đọc đầu. Nói chung đã có màn thì nên vén, mà vén màn nhìn thể nào cũng có cái gì đó hay hay.

Vậy ở trong màn có gì?


Có lão già mê đọc chuyện tình.
Maria Thomarey
Oct 13, 2015 Maria Thomarey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ο Κούντερα ως μυθιστοριογράφος μου ειναι σχεδόν απεχθής , σαν δοκιμιογράφος ομως με ξετρελάνει . "Το πέπλο " ιδιαίτερα ειναι απ'τα αξιολογότερα βιβλία σε σχέση με την λογοτεχνία , τους λογοτέχνες και τη θεωρίες γύρω απο στην -αυτους .
Tuệ Trần
Jan 25, 2015 Tuệ Trần rated it it was ok
Qua tập tiểu luận cuối trong bộ trilogy này, Kundera nhấn mạnh hai điều

(1) Tiểu thuyết mà không nói lên được cái gì mới là vô đạo đức
(2) Tiểu luận thì cứ nhắm chuyện cũ mà phang, đừng ngại
Rosa Rose
Aug 29, 2015 Rosa Rose rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
هذا الكتاب احد الاعمال القليلة جدا التى لم استطع اكمالها
تكلم الكاتب عن مجموعة من الروايات و نقدها ..... روايات لم أقرأها وبالتالى لن اكون قادرة على استيعاب ما يقوله الكاتب و ما ينقده
الانسان عدو ما يجهل
Nima ُShoa
این کتاب رو خیلی اتفاقی خوندمش، یعنی تا قبل از شروع کتاب، نمیدونستم که قراره نقد کوندرا در مورد تاریخ رمان رو بخونم!
در هر صورت تصمیم گرفتم بخونمش و اشتباه خوبی از آب در اومد.
نویسنده فراز و نشیب ها و سبک های رمان نویسی رو از تاریخ پیدایشش تا به امروز در اروپا دنبال میکنه (البته گاهی اشاراتی به ادبیات روسیه و آمریکای لاتین میشه، ولی تمرکز اصلی بر روی اروپا قرار داره) و در این گذار تاریخی، به فراوانی، خواننده رو به کتاب های ماندگار و شخصیت های درونشون ارجاع میده و رفتار شخصیت های کتاب های مختلف رو
...more
David
Feb 12, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
Almost twenty years ago I read The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, then the Unbearable Lightness of Being (before the movie), The Joke and Life is Elsewhere. Then I lost track of the impressionable Czech author. In fact I can still remember his opening scene of the Book of Laughter and Forgetting where the Communist leader giving his hat to the Czech leader and when the leader fell from grace, how he was removed from the photos (in 1948 way before Photoshop). That scene where history was remove ...more
Ryan Louis
Dec 27, 2009 Ryan Louis rated it it was ok
In every way that I could, I loved this collection of essays. I tried to love it all, but "The Curtain" is the perfect example of how a person, skilled at using language to tell stories, falls terribly victim to language when talking ABOUT stories.

Kundera, who most remember for "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," discusses the novel in his new book: what it is, how it comes to be, what it aims to express. In moments of brilliance, he situates the scope of novel-writing into revolution, peace, p
...more
Geoff
Aug 10, 2008 Geoff rated it did not like it
I picked it up because it looked interesting: lifting the veil from literature to more clearly see ourselves and others through prose.

I, however, have little tolerance for self-gratifying bullshit. When Kundera said that well, hey, the light bulb was a neat invention, but anyone could have done it if Edison hadn't, science is easy, but art--especially literature and in particular the novel--is hard and it took true genius to throw off the oppression of thousands of years of poetry to get to pros
...more
Sareh Ghasemi
Sep 06, 2015 Sareh Ghasemi rated it liked it
... معجزهی بزرگ اروپا هنرش نبود، بلکه هنری بود که به تاریخ بدل شده بود.
افسوس، معجزهها پایدار نیستند؛ هر کسی که پروبال بگشاید روزی به زمین خواهد نشست. بادلهره، به روزی میاندیشم که هنر دیگر به جستجوی ناگفتهها نخواهد پرداخت و، رام و سربهزیر، در خدمت زندگی جمعی در خواهد آمد. زندگی که از هنر میخواهد تا تکرار را زیبا جلوه دهد و به فرد کمک کند تا آرام و شاد، خودش را به جزئی از یکدستی وجود بدل کند.
چون تاریخ هنر میراست. یاوهگویی هنر، اما، جاودانه است.
...more
Panagiotis
Oct 02, 2015 Panagiotis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Είναι η τρίτη φορά που το διαβάζω. Ένα δοκίμιο για το μυθιστόρημα και τους εραστές του. Γραμμένο σοβαρά χωρίς σοβαροφάνειες. Έτσι κι αλλιώς το χιούμορ του Κούντερα είναι γνωστό. Διαβάστε το μην φοβηθείτε την λέξη δοκίμιο είναι ένα από τα πιο καλύτερα αναγνώσματα που έχω κάνει ποτέ μου.
Dimitra Mavraki
Πολύ ενδιαφέρον βιβλίο!Βοηθάει τον αναγνώστη να μελετήσει σε βάθος την λογοτεχνία!
البراء شلش
كتب قيّم جدا بشكل عامّ , و مهم جدّا لكل شخص ينوي الدخول في عالم الكتابة و الأدب ..

يتحدّث كونديرا عن تاريخ الأدب .. و تاريخ فنّ الرواية تحديدا .. يعلّق على بعض المؤلفات الكبيرة .. و يتأمل و يفكّر في صورة و شكل فنّ الرواية و كيف يراها من زاويته الخاصّة الفريدة ..

أعجبتني جدا الأجزاء الأول و الثالث و الرابع .. أما بقيّة الأجزاء فكانت تاريخيّة بشكل أكبر .. لم أفهم كثيرا منها لعدم اطّلاعي على الكتب التي يتحدّث عنها كونديرا ..

الكتاب بوصلة ممتازة للعديد من الأعمال الكبيرة .. و كذلك كتاب يغذّي الفكر ب
...more
Dina Nabil
Dec 16, 2015 Dina Nabil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
الرواية هى الانسان بكل ما فيه من عيوب و جبن و مثالية مؤقته و خذلان و هواجس و تألق البطولة مخلوطة بالنثر الذى يكشف الجمال المنسي ... تكشف الجمال في الصغائر و التفاصيل و العاديات ، وحدها الرواية تكتنف القارئ و تتقبل عيوبه و عيوب جنسه بينما نتصاغر و نتقزم امام الملحمات بكل جبروتها و ابطالها الذين لا يأتيهم الباطل ابدا و لا يشكون اطلاقا من ألم الاسنان المؤرق

وحده فن الرواية يمنح المجد للهزيمة المحتومة التى اطلقناها اسم الحياة ... و ربما لهذا فقط ولدت الرواية من الاصل
يتنقل كونديرا بخفة الفراشة بين الر
...more
Jacqueline Wagenstein
Как така изпитваме естетическа наслада, докато слушаме соната на Бетовен, но не и като слушаме друга в същия стил и със същия чар, подписана от наш съвременник? Този текст ни напомня, че от произведенията на изкуството няма да остане много, ако ги откъснем от историята на тяхното изкуство. За Кундера „завесата“ представлява онази готова представа за света, която всеки от нас носи – един предварително изтълкуван свят. Задачата на романиста е да скъса тази завеса и да покаже на читателя какво се к ...more
Haydar Almaateeq
جرعة زائدة من آراء وتأملات ميلان كونديرا حول النصوص الروائية والسرديات التي يقرأها مستخلصاً منها ما يثيره فيها، لا نشك أن لميلان قدرة هائلة على إعادة قراءة النصوص وفق ما يجد فيها نفسه وفلسفته بالعود الأبدي التي تلاحقه..حتى في طريقة استعراضه لا يستطيع الخروج من هذه الحلقة المفرغة وفي كل دورة يعود ليبث الفكرة العجوز من جديد كخلق جديد.

الستارة .. ملهمة جداً، إلا أنها بحاجة إلى قراءات للنصوص التي قرأها واستحضارها في مخيلتك لتعيش معه هويته فيها.

الكتاب ينفع ليكون كتاباً ليلاً قبل أن تتوسد الفراش .. تقر
...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Milan Kundera states that the novelist's primary goal "is not to do something better than his predecessors but to see what they did not see, say what they did not say." Ironically, many critics observed that Kundera covers much the same ground as he did in The Art of the Novel (1986) and Testaments Betrayed (1995), though they also mentioned that his views have softened somewhat toward authors and trends he had previously condemned. Most reviewers found his writing clear and accessible despite i

...more
Harith Alrashid
- لوكان كافكا كتب باللغة التشيكية لما عرفه احدولكنه كتب بالالمانية فعرفه العالم
-حتى تتمكن من الحكم على رواية لابد من قراءتها بغير لغتها الاصلية
...more
محمد إبراهيم
حدثنا كونديرا عن "رواة" ثقات، عن فن الرواية كفن فريد، لا يحل محله فن، و لا يقوم مقامه ابداع. و بان الرواة هم بناة العالم و سادته. و درة تاجه و فخاره.
حدثنا كونديرا بما لا يدانيه حديث، عن رواة استهموا بفن، فاصاب بعضهم اعلاه، و اختار بعضهم اسفله، فاما الذين في اعلاه فزادوا فيه حتي دان النجوم، و اما الذين في اسفله فاتوا عليه حتي قتلوه.
حدثنا كونديرا بقول الصدق، بان كل ما نكتبه لهو و عبث، و بان ما نسميه رواية قد احتواه التاريخ، اكل عليه و شرب و بال.
______

هناك من موضع احتله في قمة هرم الرواية، يقدم كون
...more
Binary Press
Jun 05, 2014 Binary Press rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Kundera analyzes the novel in his second of three books of essays on the art of the novel. The Curtain is wedged in between "Encounters" and "The Art of the Novel." All three are excellent and thought provoking.

Why do we read and write novels? One answer propounded by Kundera is from Flaubert: "I have always done my utmost to get into the soul of things." Kundera sees the novel as a unique art form that allows us to access the world through its own unique doorway. For the unique morality of the
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Why is the novel, novel? 1 24 Jun 18, 2008 05:48PM  
  • Stranger Shores: Essays 1986-1999
  • On Literature
  • The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel
  • The Uses of Literature
  • This Craft of Verse
  • Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays
  • The Function of Criticism
  • Axel's Castle: A Study of the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930
  • What Ever Happened to Modernism?
  • The Paris Review Interviews, III
  • Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature
  • Other Colors
  • Куфарът на брат ми / My Brother's Suitcase
  • Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays
  • Modernism: A Guide to European Literature 1890-1930
  • En esto creo
  • Letters to a Young Novelist
  • The Geography of the Imagination: Forty Essays
6343
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...

Share This Book



“What? We feel aesthetic pleasure at a sonata by Beethoven and not at one with the same style and charm if it comes from one of our own contemporaries? Isn't that the height of hypocrisy? So then the sensation of beauty is not spontaneous, spurred by our sensibility, but instead is cerebral, conditioned by our knowing a date?
No way around it: historical consciousness is so thoroughly inherent in our perception of art that this anachronism (a Beethoven piece written today) would be spontaneously (that is, without the least hypocrisy) felt to be ridiculous, false, incongruous, even monstrous. Our feeling for continuity is so strong that it enters into the perception of any work of art.”
13 likes
“Homer never wondered whether, after their many hand-to-hand struggles, Achilles or Ajax still had all their teeth.” 5 likes
More quotes…