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Milan Kundera Quotes
- Page 2
No act is of itself either good or bad. Only its place in the order of things makes it good or bad.
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.
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.
Optimism is the opium of the people.
Mysticism and exaggeration go together. A mystic must not fear ridicule if he is to push all the way to the limits of humility or the limits of delight.
I am incapable of speaking of myself and of my life and the states of my soul, I am discreet to an almost pathological degree, and there is nothing I can do against that.
Every change of scene requires new expositions, descriptions, explanations.
Man's world is the planet of inexperience.
Nudity is the uniform of the other side... nudity is a shroud.
The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness.
There are no small parts. Only small actors.
Without the meditative background that is criticism, works become isolated gestures, historical accidents, soon forgotten.
The light that radiates from the great novels time can never dim, for human existence is perpetually being forgotten by man and thus the novelists' discoveries, however old they may be, will never cease to astonish.
There are metaphysical problems, problems of human existence, that philosophy has never known how to grasp in all their concreteness and that only the novel can seize.
In order to make the novel into a polyhistorical illumination of existence, you need to master the technique of ellipsis, the art of condensation. Otherwise, you fall into the trap of endless length.
True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power.
Eroticism is like a dance: one always leads the other.
I remember that the day I finished 'The Angels,' part three of 'The Book of Laughter and Forgetting', I was terribly proud of myself. I was sure that I had discovered the key to a new way of putting together a narrative.
When I was a little boy in short pants, I dreamed about a miraculous ointment that would make me invisible. Then I became an adult, began to write, and wanted to be successful. Now I'm successful and would like to have the ointment that would make me invisible.
To be a writer does not mean to preach a truth, it means to discover a truth.
I find myself fascinating.
Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.
For a novelist, a given historic situation is an anthropologic laboratory in which he explores his basic question: What is human existence?
I think I am a much better actor than I have allowed myself to be.
Let us consider the critic, therefore, as a discoverer of discoveries.
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