Slowness

ISBN-10: 0060928417
ISBN-13: 9780060928414
Edition: 1997
List price: $12.99 Buy it from $1.12
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Description: Two tales of seduction, separated by more than two hundred years, interweave and oscillate between the sublime and the comic in this, Milan Kundera's lightest novel. In the 18th century, the marvelous Madame de T. summons a young nobleman to her  More...

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Book details

List price: $12.99
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 4/11/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 176
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.242
Language: English

Two tales of seduction, separated by more than two hundred years, interweave and oscillate between the sublime and the comic in this, Milan Kundera's lightest novel. In the 18th century, the marvelous Madame de T. summons a young nobleman to her chamber and gives him an unforgettable lesson in the art of seduction and the pleasures of love. In the same chat at the end of the 20th century, a hapless intellectual experiences a rather less successful night. Distracted by his desire to be the center of attention at a convention of entomologists, Vincent misses the opportunity to be with a beautiful stranger and suffers the ridicule of his peers. A "morning-after" encounter between the two men brings the novel to a poignant close and provides a unique insight into the different mind-sets of the two centuries. As Vincent prepares to speed off on his motorcycle, he has already obliterated the memory of his humiliation. The young nobleman, on the other hand, relives the delicious pleasures of the night as he lies back on the cushions of his carriage. Ruminating on how the pleasures of slowness have disappeared in today's fast-paced, future-shocked world, Kundera explores the secret bond between slowness and memory and the connection between our era's desire to forget and the way we have given ourselves over to the demon of speed. As provocative as it is entertaining, Slowness is Kundera in top form.

One of the foremost contemporary Czech writers, Kundera is a novelist, poet, and playwright. His play The Keeper of the Keys, produced in Czechoslovakia in 1962, has long been performed in a dozen countries. His first novel, The Joke (1967), is a biting satire on the political atmosphere in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. It tells the story of a young Communist whose life is ruined because of a minor indiscretion: writing a postcard to his girlfriend in which he mocks her political fervor.The Joke has been translated into a dozen languages and was made into a film, which Kundera wrote and directed. His novel Life Is Elsewhere won the 1973 Prix de Medicis for the best foreign novel. Kundera has been living in France since 1975. His books, for a long time suppressed in his native country, are once again published.The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), won him international fame and was a successful English-language film. In this work Kundera moves toward more universal and philosophically tinged themes, thus transforming himself from a political dissident into a writer of international significance.

Linda Asher, a former fiction editor for "The New Yorker" has translated into English many French-language writers, including Restif de la Bretonne, Victor Hugo, George Simenon & Milan Kundera.

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