Sunday Book Stroll ~ The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera


AND it’s the next installment of Sunday Book Stroll!!!

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

It’s been quite a long while since I’d read this book, just shortly after I’d graduated from college actually. I was going through an intellectual reading phase. We’ll skip over the history on that though.

The novel itself delves into what makes us need companionship in life so badly!!! What I found fascinating about this book was the depth to which the characters picked apart and agonized over their relationship, or relationships. A man torn between thought and emotion, between love and lust. A woman who lives for rebellion. Another whose body is simply an amplifier for her emotions. Tomas, the male protagonist, falls in love with Teresa and marries her, while still having many one-night stands in an attempt to give weight (meaning) to his life. Moreover, he maintains a love-affair with Sabina. I was of the opinion that every one of these people, due to their intellectual dives into the meaning of companionship, suffered, for all of the self-knowledge made them both stilted and uncertain.

What I loved about this book though was that it really brings into focus how much we tend to overthink things in our own lives. Especially in this day and age … with more open and less intimate relationships. With the internet and the rampant sexuality that lies therein. (Funnily enough, the person who gave me this book to read was a female online friend that I’d started hanging out with.)

Since I started reading this book in the midst of my ‘classics’ phase. (I’ll explain that in detail at a later date.) It didn’t really impact me in a profound way, except to perhaps stop myself from overthinking everything. What I mean by that is that I was a bit more open to different ‘adventures’ in the relationship department. I’d like to fall in love, someday … but like Tomas, I feel that there’s no reason for that to be the only thing in life. (at least until I find ‘the one’) However, I don’t know that I could knowingly hurt someone as he did. Not that I don’t think Tereza should be free of some serious fault-finding though. For her, love and sex were intertwined, whereas for Tomas they were separate. Tomas was within that unbearable lightness while Tereza was plagued with the heavy weight of life. The whole aspect of love and happiness simply shows us how vulnerable we are. AHA … look how profound I am already!!! Oh Freud … where art thou?

Excellent read though. I mean … life might be a cabaret old chum … but really … there’s only the one. No repeats, no take-backsies, no dress-rehearsals. So in short kids … try not to mess it all up by over thinking it!

Light and Love,

Surry!

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6 Responses to Sunday Book Stroll ~ The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

  1. mo.stoneskin says:

    I haven't read the book, but I think I'd like to, which is my way of saying that was a good book review.You're right about overthinking. I've been trying to stop doing that for a while.

  2. Deb says:

    i used to like the book, and i suppose i still should. however, the author is one of the people who signed the petition to release roman polanski, and that just irks me beyond belief, so i have made the decision to not like the book, even though it is a good book. wait! no it's not!!!

  3. Evanesco says:

    me thinks after my own too personal, last blog, I need to re-read this book. Loved your insight! đŸ™‚

  4. Captain Dumbass says:

    I never read this one, but I have read Immortality which was pretty good. Overthinking. I'd say that about most European writers. : P

  5. SSP says:

    i read this book this summer while i was in hawaii on vacation and had a completely different reaction to it than i did when i read it, what 15 years ago? I also saw the movie back then so perhaps that tainted my opinion of the book….we all want our lives to MEAN something – for our actions and words to have a tangible effect on the world and the people around us…..but nothing really matters…..does it?

  6. SweetPeaSurry says:

    SSP You bring up an excellent point … I think our ACTIONS and the consequences of our actions mean things and that's what gives our lives meaning. However, just picking apart our lives for the sake of knowledge doesn't really mean anything.

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