Kundera uses Nietzsche’s idea of eternal return to tell the story of four lovers with vastly different philosophies toward life as they grapple with unrest of the 1968 Prague Spring. I’ve revisited this novel several times during periods of change and doubt, and each time I’m left with a different and more insightful answer to the question: if every second of our lives is fated to recur infinitely, how do you choose to spend it?— April
“Far more than a conventional novel. It is a meditation on life, on the erotic, on the nature of men and women and love . . . full of telling details, truths large and small, to which just about every reader will respond.” — People
In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera tells the story of two couples, a young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing, and one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover. In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence, we feel "the unbearable lightness of being" not only as the consequence of our pristine actions but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine.
This magnificent novel, now available in a beautifully designed Harper Perennial Deluxe Edition, is a story of passion and politics, infidelity and ideas, and encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, illuminating all aspects of human existence.
Milan Kundera is the author of the novels The Joke, Farewell Waltz, Life Is Elsewhere, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and the short-story collection Laughable Loves—all originally written in Czech. His most recent novels Slowness, Identity, and Ignorance, as well as his nonfiction works The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, The Curtain, and Encounter, were originally written in French.