Monday, April 21, 2014

THE BOOK OF LAUGHTER AND FORGETTING


AUTHOR : MILAN KUNDERA
ORIGINAL LANGUAGE : CZECH
TRANSLATOR : AARON ASHER (translated from French)

This book got me back into the habit of reading books. It is a great experience in itself.

I was a voracious reader till 2010. Thanks to my friends and other sources like internet which have made me acquaint with some great books and kept me going. They were insightful and my personality was build by them. 

This book was suggested to me by my good friend Raghuveer, who reads books more than most people I know. He just handed over it and said just read any of the pages. I read a page in the middle and was taken aback by the intrigue. Though, I took his copy, I knew my weakness was that I will not be able to complete unless I spend my hard earned money, purchasing it. So I purchased it, then began to read.

The author was knew and so was the backdrop of the book. The book is a 1970's novel. It has a political backdrop and has some historical aspects involved too. Now, this is a Czech novel and I as an Indian would be least familiar with those happenings, but it's not the politics or history that made a connect with me. What I like most was that, the theme, the undercurrent of each narrative was love making. This is universal, these are essentially love stories which have lot many details embedded. These are surely above history and politics and are about the basic human needs and emotions. 

Love making is presented in the most humorous as well intriguing way. From fornication to foreplay it makes us visualise all the physicality in a rib tickling manner rather than emotional one. Yet, this is not a comedy either, and that's the speciality. With subtle differences it makes a compelling concoction of love, emotion, drama and comedy. Indeed, the undertone is philosophy and there are wonderful insights of philosophy too

The style I felt was Kafkaic (referring Franz Kafka). Perhaps, I may be wrong but the Kafka readers shall understand what I mean here. It's random. erratic and yet there are threads that seem to have been knitted well to make a good fabric.

From learning the word "Litost" to knowing the Renaissance poets like "Petrarch", "Goethe" and a few more, this is a book that if well explored, gives immense satisfaction of knowing new things. I loved it all the way through

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and I must say, I would getting back to this more often, you can pick up any page to start with and go on, the fun is enormous in this.

2 of my favourite quotes from this book before I close.

"The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting"

"Joking is a barrier between man and the world. Joking is the enemy of love and poetry." 

Rating is a mere formality to this masterpiece. From me, it gets a 5/5.

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I firstly declare here that all the content written in the blog is exclusively written by me and I hold the copyrights of each and everything. Be it a poem or a movie review. Also, the videos or photographs I upload or attach are exclusively owned by me. This declaration is important in a world that seems so worried of piracy. The prime purpose of these blogs is to put my writings and photographs on the net. and well to start with.... I live in my mind, and existence is the attempt to bring my thoughts into physical reality, I celebrate myself, sing myself and I am always happy in my own company.....I am not the best in the world but I strive for excellence and thats what keeps me alive... Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself--Friedrich Nietzsche