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Testaments Betrayed: An Essay in Nine Parts

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  1,004 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Milan Kundera has established himself as one of the great novelists of our time with such books as The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Immortality and The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. In Testaments Betrayed, he proves himself a brilliant defender of the moral rights of the artist and the respect due to a work of art and its creator's wishes. The betrayal of both -- ofte ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1993)
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Anastasia
I testamenti traditi parla di tutti quegli sgarbi, censure, fraintendimenti che la critica - spesso in buona fede- e in generale il panorama culturale ha fatto ad autori e anche compositori che, naturalmente, non si meritavano niente di tutto questo e ne hanno perito, e ne periscono ancora adesso nel nostro immaginario. E Kundera si fa portavoce di questa piccola indagine privata prendendo in esame, in generale, in una via quasi "personale" le sue figure preferite, tant'è vero che Kafka e Stravi ...more
Eric
One of my favorite works of criticism--though 'criticism' may be too narrow a category. Maybe: aesthetic theorizing informed by a practitioner's ardor. A spirited essay on Kafka's sense of humor; the keenest appreciation of Janacek's operas I've ever read; a provocative private history of the novel (we gotta get back to Cervantes and Rabelais and Sterne, that fun, free-wheeling crew, Milan sez, cause 19th century realism is a con job); insightful defenses of Hemingway and Stravinsky from various ...more
James
Kundera begins with a riff on Rabelais and leads us on a wild tour of European literature from Cervantes to Gombrowicz, with special attention to authors that I love including Musil and Broch. I found this plus his continual focus on the ideas of literature attractive enough; but he essays music as well. There is a wonderful chapter on Janacek and thought-provoking discussion of Stravinsky's place in European music. And with this embedded references to literature, great literature, and his own w ...more
Fatema Alammar
مجموعة من التأملات الذكية، العميقة، المُبهِرة، والصادمة أحيانا - لكن بشكل هاديء - لفني الرواية، والموسيقى.

كونديرا في هذا الكتاب، قاريء فذ، ناقد ينثر التماعاته عبر الورق فتستحيل إلى "دهشة" وهنا تكمن روعة هذا الكتاب.

أوصي به، جدا، للكتّاب، ولمحبي القراءة، بالأخص قراءة الروايات، لأنه سيشكل فرقا كبيرا

"معظم القراء الذين يقرأون الروايات بدون روية،هم يقرأون حياتهم بنفس الطريقة السيئة."
hayatem
هذا الكتاب لايمكن ان تقرأه بدون استخدام قلم هاي لايتر"قلم تضليل" ،كي تقبض على التفاصيل والمعلومات والملاحظات الدقيقة والمهمة، لتكون ذاكرة أولية خام للقراءة الثانية والثالثة والرابعة ! لأنه بأمانة تامة لايمكن أن تقرأ هذا الكتاب لمره واحدة وتحقق الفائدة المرجوة منه .

عرّف كونديرا فن الرواية على "انه العالم الذي تتعطل فيه الأحكام الأخلاقية".

قسم كونديرا فن الرواية بين الأربعة عقود. السابع والثامن كالجزءأو الشوط الأول من تاريخ هذا الفن والذي لعبت فيه الاخلاق والسياسة والتاريخ دورا بارزا في التأثير على
...more
Roozbeh Estifaee
Milan Kundera is a great novelist, but what makes him special to me is that he lives with novels. He has one of the best understandings of novel I've ever happened to see. Besides, he has a very complex wild mind which shines upon every dark corner of letterature, surprising his readers with the revelations it makes right in the place they thought they have explored thoroughly.
Testaments Betrayed: An Essay in Nine Parts is a skim through his opinions and ideas about satire, translation, music, l
...more
علی
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
Amene
مقاله ها در مورد موضوعاتی همچون رابطه موسیقی و رمان،ترجمه و رمان و بیشتر از همه ادای دین بسیار کوندرا به کافکا هستند.در مقاله های این کتاب که هر از گاهی سانسورهایی هم در نقل قول های کوندرا اعمال شده،بیشتر بر تجزیه و تحلیل های مختلف از موسیقیدانان و نویسندگان خصوصا کافکا و دیدروتاکید شده ایپست.در حقیقت ارتباط چندانی بامتن مقالات یا جستارها برقرار نکردم هرچند موارد بسیاری را به عنوان بندهای کاربردی در مقالات پژوهشی هایلایت کردم.جستارها خود هریک به تنهایی نیز در مواردی انسجام روایی و منطق روایی ندا ...more
Fernanda
5+ merece este libro. Este ensayo sobre la novela es una obra fabulosa. Tiene una estructura muy a la Kundera donde puedo ver muchas de sus ideas generales plasmadas en sus libros, y lo más importante, me ayudó a comprender cosas que se escapaban de mi entendimiento para poder comprender más lo que Kundera trata de decir.

Este libro tiene algunos cruces con la historia de la música que en lo personal me pesó bastante porque no soy una conocedora y realmente no estoy muy interesada, sin embargo no
...more
Keith
Kundera's Testaments Betrayed is a nine-part romp through some varied topics, all with the general theme of artists who were betrayed, often by their closest friends and admirers. The central point is how badly Kafka has been translated into French, how he was betrayed by His literary executor whom he asked to burn his papers. Another part on how perfect Hemingway can be and how critics misunderstand him. Two pieces on Janacek and Stravinsky (Kundera's musical knowledge is seriously deep). Plus ...more
Jeremy Bagai
Great art history lessons. Great criticism of art criticism, and of art curation.

But I grew weary of the presentation of his artistic preferences and opinions as moral absolutes. There are many novels outside the constraints of Kundera's proclamations.

But still, enlightening and entertaining.
Michalle Gould
Only Kundera could make me cry with an essay about literature, while I was on a plane making its descent into the airport in Berlin. His all-consuming radical understanding of the individual's need for privacy is refreshing given the current personalization of nearly everything.
Josh Myers
Milan Kundera is my favorite person
Jean
In these nine erudite, linked essays Kundera writes as a literary critic, a music critic, a critiquer of literary and music critics, and a defender of the absolute rights of authors and composers. He decries the way supporters and close friends have disregarded/disrespected/distorted originators’ intentions and compromised their work by editing, adding/deleting passages, taking liberties in publishing or performances etc. I’ve not read most of the texts he discusses nor am I familiar with the wo ...more
Кремена Михайлова
Още на първата страница подскочих от радост при споменаването на Рушди. После се появиха и композиторите – любимия Стравински. В началото трябваше да свикна с малко теоретичния, професионален анализ; отвикнала съм да гледам на изкуствата като на теория, особено след като слушам основно импровизационна музика. Но все пак потапянето в света на любимите изкуства, запознаването с гледната точка на Кундера и препратките към познати и непознати творци са достатъчно приятни.

Малки части от есетата не м
...more
Amal 88
كونديرا ببراعته ومكره الذي لا يُبارى يطرح سؤالا تتساقط من حوله الأجوبة عن قسوة العالم والبشر . عن الوسائل التي يملكها مؤلف ما ليجعل نفسه مفهوماً على ما هو عليه ! هذا السؤال أشبه بإزميل يضرب به أعماقنا ، ليذيب جبال الجليد فتموج النفس بعاطفة هوجاء عن الغربة والخيانة والتغييب والكثير من سوء الفهم .


يزاوج بذكاء وتجربة بين الرواية والموسيقى ، بين العظماء الكبار الذين أغنوا فنونهم، والذين نبذتهم بلدانهم وشعوبهم ، فعاشوا غربة حقيقية ليس بأن أُبعدوا عن أوطانهم فقط ، بل بأن تمّ تجاهلهم عن قصد، لقد وُصموا
...more
Harish
I wonder, why they have not yet given him a Nobel Prize, while twits have walked away with more...
Aya
أن تكون "حواس" كونديرا
Jonasdeleon
Offensively Eurocentric.
Mythack
Intellectual steroids.
Farhan Khalid
The story being told here is not serious

There are no statements of truths (scientific or mythic) here

No promise to describe things as they are in reality

The story being told here is not serious

Even though it is about the most dreadful things

Every answer is a booby trap

Paz: Humor renders ambiguous everything it touches

If I were asked the most common cause of misunderstanding between my readers and me, I would not hesitate: humor

Creating the imaginary terrain where moral judgment is suspended wa
...more
Karenina
Motivo di fondo degli scritti raccolti in questo volume è la condanna delle interpretazioni arbitrarie nell’arte: dalle traduzioni poco fedeli nel caso della letteratura, alle modifiche ed errate esecuzioni nel caso della musica; comunque mancato rispetto dell’autore, testamenti traditi, appunto.

Il caso più eclatante preso in esame è quello di Kafka, le cui disposizioni testamentarie vennero disattese dall’amico Brod. Secondo Kundera la pubblicazione dei diari e delle lettere, oltreché un affron
...more
Katya
Would you hate your friend if he wrote crappy poetry? No, but the problem starts when you let the crappy poet edit the works of the truly talented friend.

And this is why nowadays we think of Kafka as a frigid moralist.

In this collection of essays, Milan Kundera talks about great artists that were born before their time, artists whose time had to be created, artists whose tastaments were misunderstood by the well-meaning, but misguided sensibilities of others, who thought it was their duty to put
...more
Jean Tessier
Kundera draws parallels between the evolution of music and the
novel in Western culture and how it shaped Western thought. While
his bias shows in many places, this is still a great exploration
of artistic forces in Western culture for the past 500 years.

Part 1 sets up the European novel as the defining art
form of the modernism and at the source of Western ideology. By
promoting ambiguity and letting characters define their own moral
compass, they enabled the development of an individualistic
thought
...more
Kent Winward
Another excellent collection of Kundera's essays on the novel, the history of the novel and the meaning of being an artist.

Some highlights:

"One instant of ecstasy weighed more than a whole lifetime. The lover's lifetime faced the instant of ecstasy from roughly the same inferior status as the finite has facing eternity. Man desires eternity, but all he can get is its imitation: the instant of ecstasy."

"The only thing I deeply, avidly wanted was a lucid, unillusioned eye. I finally found it in t
...more
Chul-hyun Ahn
"Heartlessness masked by a style overflowing with feeling". This line expresses Kundera's polemic view on novels, music, arts and appreciation of all these things in general. Come to think of it, they're not polemic ideas but something all of us as readers can easily sense but often expel from us for the sake of "feeling" things and satisfying the urge to endow meanings and purposes to the meaningless. The desire to make sense of every moment, to categorize our experience in a spectrum of what w ...more
Monique
Kundera's essays are bursting with fabulous observations and insightful critical analysis.
Luke Liu
Reading the Chinese translation. Hope I can find the English one someday
Susan
Epic in its coverage of European literature and music. Great insights in his essay on Kafka.
Artem Huletski
Сборник эссе-размышлений о литераторах (Кафке, Достоевском, Льве Толстом, Хемингуэе, Франсуа Рабле) и композиторах (Стравинском, Яначеке и др.). Особое внимание уделяется стилю и воле автора - целые главы посвящены неправильным "по духу" литературным переводам, исправлению и интерпретации музыкальных произведений, публикации неразрешённого автором после его смерти. Весомо и справедливо, но меня не покидает ощущение "бесцветности" Кундеры, его неэмоциональности. Ничего не могу с собой поделать.
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  • Experiences in translation
  • Less Than One: Selected Essays
  • Axel's Castle: A Study of the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930
  • Lectures on Literature
  • Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature
  • The Geography of the Imagination: Forty Essays
  • Stranger Shores: Essays 1986-1999
  • Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life
  • The Second Common Reader
  • Six Memos For The Next Millennium
  • This Craft of Verse
  • Modernism: A Guide to European Literature 1890-1930
  • Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays
  • Kafka's Other Trial: The Letters to Felice
  • The Rise of the Novel
  • Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles, and Speeches, 1998-2003
  • A Temple of Texts
  • The Pound Era
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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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“И наистина, има нещо нелепо в това колективно покорство пред предписаните схеми на сонатата или на симфонията. Да си представим как великите симфонисти, включително Хайдн и Моцарт, Шуман и Брамс, след като са си поплакали в адажиото, в последната част се дегизират като малки ученици и през междучасието се втурват в двора, за да танцуват, да подскачат и да крещят колкото им глас държи, че всичко е добре, когато свършва добре. Това можем да наречем „глупостта на музиката”. Бетовен е разбрал, че единственият начин да се избегне тя, е да се придаде на композицията абсолютно индивидуален характер.

Това е първата точка от художествения му завет, валиден за всички изкуства и за всички творци, завет, който бих формулирал така: не трябва да се смята композицията (архитектурната организация на цялото) като вече съществуваща матрица, заета от автора, за да я напълни с това, което е сътворил; самата композиция трябва да бъде творение, творение, в което се съдържа цялата самобитност на автора.”
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“Спомням си детството си. Седях пред пианото и се отдавах на страстни импровизации, за които ми бяха достатъчни един акорд в до минор и субдоминантата фа минор, свирени фортисимо безкрай. Безспир повтаряните два акорда и примитивният мелодичен мотив пораждаха у мен бурна емоция, каквато никакъв Шопен, никакъв Бетовен не са пораждали в последствие (Веднъж баща ми, който беше музикант, дотича в стаята ми бесен – никога не съм го виждал така побеснял, нито преди, нито след това, - вдигна ме от табуретката, отнесе ме в трапезарията и със зле прикрито отвращение ме тикна под масата).” 2 likes
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