A man and a woman meet by chance while returning to their homeland, which they had abandoned twenty years earlier when they had chosen to become exiles. Will they manage to pick up the thread of their strange love story, interrupted almost as soon as it began and then lost in the tides of history? The truth is that after such a long absence "their memories no longer match....more
Czech expatriate Irena, who has been living in France, decides to return to her home after twenty years. During the trip she meets, by chance, Josef, a fellow émigré who was briefly her lover in Prague. The novel examines the feelings instigated by the return to a homeland, which has ceased to be a home. In doing so, it reworks the Odyssean themes of homecoming. It paints a poignant picture of love and its manifestations, a recurring theme in Kundera's n ...more
Milan Kundera's writing just seems to strike a right note with me, ever since the first time I read his works on a public commute as a wide-eyed college sophomore, getting hooked on the philosophical ramblings that are so essential to college years.
And that fascination apparently has withstood the test of time for me - maybe because deep down inside me a college philosopher still survives.
"Both of them are pidgeonholed, labeled, and they will be judged by how true they are to their labels (of...more
Ignorance is Kundera's tribute to the émigré. The story revolves around a woman called Irena, a Czech expatriate living in France, and her return to her homeland. On returning she meets Josef, a fellow émigré whom she knew from the past as a lover.
The novel examines the feelings of returning to an unfamiliar homeland after a long time, drawing parallels with ...more
After being somewhat disappointed recently with Identity, Ignorance marked a return to form for Kundera, and although this was a really good effort, at this point of his career I still think he was past his peak brilliance. There is no doubt when he got it right, his gift of mingling politics, love, sex, history, and an exploration of subjectivity, really hits the spot, delivering a unique and captivating reading experience. Ignorance sees Kundera tackling a humanly richer theme than in Identity ...more
I won’t even consider writing another one. Or typing out the excerpt I wanted to include. ( again)...
I’m too mad!
So...a couple of quick tip of the tongue thoughts:
The reading is more cerebral than experiential.
Thoughts about memory - forgetting- illusion & nostalgia are running themes ...
There is sadness in coming home... returning home after twenty years away.
We follow two lovers wh ...more
Ignorance (French: L'ignorance) is a novel by Milan Kundera. It was written in 1999 in French and published in 2000. It was translated into English in 2002 by Linda Asher, for which she was awarded the Scott Moncrieff Prize the following year.
Czech expatriate Irena, who has been living in France, decides to return to her home after twenty years. During the trip she meets, by chance, Josef, a fellow émigré who was briefly her lover in Prague. The novel ...more
"The more vast the amount of time we've left behind us, the more irresistible is the voice calling us to return to it."In this poignant recount of two people, forced to bid goodbye to their native country, in the diminished, yet flickering hope of finding a brighter tomorrow in an alien land, almost 20 years ago from the present, unravels a story replete with more questions than answers. Irena and Josef have found comfortable refuge in their respective abodes at Paris and Copenhagen ...more
Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.
In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook ...more
Far Away from Home—Nostalgia and Nostalghia
Milan Kundera’s begins the second chapter of his most recently translated novel, Ignorance (2002), with an etymological exploration of the word “ ...more
Ignorance is a modern retelling of The Odyssey, focusing on two emigrants who were forced from their native Czech Republic during the reign of Communism in 1968. Irena flees to Paris with her husband Martin while Josef ends up settling in Denmark. Irena and Josef had met and flirted in a Czech bar briefly years before in their twenties, and they meet by chance again in their homeland after the dust has settled from the collapse of Communism in 1989. While their memories of that first en ...more
“He was waiting for just one thing: for them to finally say “Tell us!” And that is the one thing they never said. For 20 years he had thought about nothing but his return. But once he was back, he was amazed to realize that his life, the very essence of his life, its center, its treasure, lay outside Ithaca, in the 20 years of his wanderings. And this treasure he had lost and could retrieve only by telling about it.”
Faz este mês 30 anos que se deu a Revolução de Veludo, na ex- ...more
This is the second book by Kundera and I enjoyed it quite a lot. There's something different about his writing style (I can't put my finger on it), but I can tell I love it! He has the gift to turn simple, mundane situations into an entire ...more
What matters is kept in obvious relief: emotions, words, and decisions. Although not everyone is an e ...more
Nostalgia and a lot of uncomfortable questions slowly creep into your head, leaving you wondering for a long time. Feeling sad for human condition, but also comforted because you recognise so much.The novel does what the best books should accomplish, enriching you as a human.
An over arching concept of the book is the comparison of a modern day homecoming (post cold war, pre myspace) with that of Odysseus returning to Greece. However, don't feel like you have to be an emegree to enjoy th ...more
How their lives have changed when they left their country, in this case the Czech Republic during the Russian invasion, and moved to neighbouring countries to make a new life for themselves. What it feels like to go back to their country of origin after so many years, how the memories they had o ...more
Although I like Milan Kundera as an author, I read this book for my book club meeting. It was very interesting to hear how the others related to the story or what they took from it because I realised that to certain extent it takes to be someone from 'Eastern block' to fully ...more
|Reading 1001: Ignorance - Kundara||2||4||Sep 08, 2019 06:43PM|
|Club littéraire p...: club littéraire du 10 juin 2018 à 17h00||3||5||Jun 09, 2018 06:06AM|
|your favorite quotes from Ignorance||2||33||Jan 24, 2015 03:26PM|
|2015 Reading Chal...: Ignorance by Milan Kundera||1||20||Jan 19, 2015 10:33AM|
|Armenian readers ...: Դեկտեմբերի ընթերցանություն. քննարկում||64||31||Dec 12, 2013 11:15AM|
|Armenian readers ...: Դեկտեմբերի գիրքը. որտեղից գտնել||18||22||Dec 06, 2013 10:19AM|
|Bookoholics: Ignorance - Milan Kundera||2||10||Jul 19, 2013 11:38AM|
Kundera has written in both Czech and French. He revises the French translations of all his books; these therefore are not considered tr ...more