A book that crosses two periods in time with a parallel story involving one castle. The men meet in passing and feel an unspoken comaraderie. The narrator directs us through the numerous characters which is an understatement to the depth and dimension of the individuals Kundera develop. There is a hint of reality when the narrator's wife calls him by the author's pet name used by his own wife. Fun, fast read worth the time to explore.
This is a beautiful book from the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. It is not a light read, but it is worth the trouble. I was going to try to give a flavor of what it's about, so here goes...There are two parallel stories, one about a seduction by a woman of a young nobleman in the eighteenth century. The other story takes place in the same chateau near the end the twentieth century, when a young intellectual experiences a less successful night. The statement on the book jacket which I think captures it is: "Underlying this libertine fantasy is a profound mediation on contemporary life; about the secret bond between slowness and memory, about the connection between our era's desire to forget and the way we have given ourselves over to the demon of speed.
A playfull envoi from a tender misanthrope; a rant set to music by Mozart. An ode to sensuous leisure, to the enjoyment of pleasure rather than just the search for it.
oversized paperback - ". . . an ode to sensuous leisure, to the enjoyment of pleasure rather than just the search for it."
Kundera writes like a composer writes, full of rhythm and lyricism, ever conscious of the pacing of his language, and how that drives the overall story. His theme, "slowness," is brilliantly buried just below the surface of every part of the story, and it seems to me that the content of the story always feels secondary to his masterful ability to spin language. Kundera draws the reader into the same "slow" rhythm of his story, and the experience of reading this work becomes a delicious meditation.
I absolutely loved this. Slightly odd but in a beautiful way, makes you rethink the current pace of our lives. Just writing this makes me want to read it again.