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,