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313 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1979
نحن جميعا أسرى تصور مسكوك عما هو مهم و ما ليس كذلك. إذ نركز نظرنا القلق على المهم بينما خِفية يشن التافه من وراء ظهورنا حربه التي ستغير العالم بعمق و تنقض علينا في غفلة منا.هذا الكتاب غريب عجيب و مريب أيضا. عالم كونديرا هو عالم متميز لا شك في ذلك فهو يخلط الجد بالهزل و الفلسفة بالبساطة و السياسة بالفن بالتاريخ باللهو بالعبث و يأخذك في رحلات طويلة ثم يعود بك مرة أخرى إلى نقطة البداية دون أن تدري فيما ذهبت و لمَ رجعت.
“...because love is continual interrogation. I don't know of a better definition of love.”
“A novel is a long piece of synthetic prose based on play with invented characters. These are the only limits. By the term synthetic I have in mind the novelist's desire to grasp his subject from all sides and in the fullest possible completeness. Ironic essay, novelistic narrative, autobiographical fragment, historic fact, flight of fantasy: The synthetic power of the novel is capable of combining everything into a unified whole like the voices of polyphonic music. The unity of a book need not stem from the plot, but can be provided by the theme. “
“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”
“Children, Never look Back!" and this meant that we must never allow the future to be weighed down by memory . for children have no past, and that is the whole secret of the magical innocence of their smiles.”
“We will never remember anything by sitting in one place waiting for the memories to come back to us of their own accord! Memories are scattered all over the world. We must travel if we want to find them and flush them from their hiding places!”
“The future is only an indifferent void no one cares about, but the past is filled with life, and its countenance is irritating, repellent, wounding, to the point that we want to destroy or repaint it. We want to be masters of the future only for the power to change the past.”
“Those who consider the Devil to be a partisan of Evil and angels to be warriors for Good accept the demagogy of the angels. Things are clearly more complicated. Angels are partisans not of Good, but of divine creation. The Devil, on the other hand, denies all rational meaning to God's world. ' World domination, as everyone knows, is divided between demons and angels. But the good of the world does not require the latter to gain precedence over the former (as I thought when I was young); all it needs is a certain equilibrium of power. If there is too much uncontested meaning on earth (the reign of the angels), man collapses under the burden; if the world loses all its meaning (the reign of the
demons), life is every bit as impossible.”
“The stupidity of people comes from having an answer for everything. The wisdom of the novel comes from having a question for everything....The novelist teaches the reader to comprehend the world as a question. There is wisdom and tolerance in that attitude. In a world built on sacrosanct certainties, the novel is dead. The totalitarian world, whether founded on Marx, Islam, or anything else, is a world of answers rather than questions. There, the novel has no place.”
“The history of music is mortal, but the idiocy of the guitar is eternal.”
“It takes so little, so infinitely little, for a person to cross the border beyond which everything loses meaning: love, convictions, faith, history. Human life -- and herein lies its secret -- takes place in the immediate proximity of that border, even in direct contact with it; it is not miles away, but a fraction of an inch.”