Casting light on the most serious of problems and at the same time
saying not one serious sentence; being fascinated by the reality of
the contemporary world and at the same time completely avoiding
realism-that's The Festival of Insignificance. Readers who know
Kundera's earlier books know that the wish to incorporate an
element of the "unserious" in a novel is not at all unexpected of
him. In Immortality, Goethe and Hemingway stroll through several
chapters together talking and laughing. And in Slowness, Vera, the
author's wife, says to her husband: "you've often told me you meant
to write a book one day that would have not a single serious word
in it... I warn you: watch out. Your enemies are lying in wait."
Now, far from watching out, Kundera is finally and fully realizing
his old aesthetic dream in this novel that we could easily view as
a summation of his whole work. A strange sort of summation. Strange
sort of epilogue. Strange sort of laughter, inspired by our time,
which is comical because it has lost all sense of humor. What more
can we say? Nothing. Just read.
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