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Milan Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” Quotes (82 Quotes)


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  • But all he could think of was what Sabina would have said about it. Everything he did, he did for Sabina, the way Sabina would have liked to see it done. It was a perfectly innocent form of infidelity and one eminently suited to Franz, who would never have done his bespectacled student-mistress any harm. He nourished the cult of Sabina more as a religion than as love
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • He saw the marching, shouting crowd as the image of Europe and its history. Europe was the Grand March. The march from revolution to revolution, from struggle to struggle, ever onward.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Men who pursue a multitude of women fit neatly into two categories. Some seek their own subjective and unchanging dream of a woman in all women. Others are prompted by a desire to possess the endless variety of the objective female in the world.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Sometimes you make up your mind about something without knowing why, and your decision persists by the power of inertia. Every year it gets harder to change.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • When a private talk over a bottle of wine is broadcast on the radio, what can it mean but that the world is turning into a concentration camp?
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")


  • But if we betray B., for whom we betrayed A., it does not necessarily follow that we have placated A. The life of a divorcée-painter did not in the least resemble the life of the parents she had betrayed. The first betrayal is irreparable. It calls forth a chain reaction of further betrayals, each of which takes us farther and farther away from the point of our original betrayal.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • He suddenly felt dismayed at how little he had seen of her the last two years; he had so few opportunities to press her hands in his to stop them from trembling.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • No matter how brutal life becomes, peace always reign in the cemetery.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Tereza had gone back to sleep; he could not. He pictured her death. She was dead and having terrible nightmares; but because she was dead, he was unable to wake her from them. Yes, that is death: Tereza asleep, having terrible nightmares, and he unable to wake her.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • When graves are covered with stones, the dead can no longer get out. But the dead can't go out anyway! What difference does it make whether they're covered with soil or stones?
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • But just make someone who has fallen in love listen to his stomach rumble, and the unity of body and soul, that lyrical illusion of the age of science , instantly fades away.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • He who gives himself up like a prisoner of war must give up his weapons as well. And deprived in advance of defense against a possible blow, he cannot help wondering when the blow will fall.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • No one can give anyone else the gift of the idyll; only an animal can do so, because only animals were not expelled from Paradise. The love between dog and man is idyllic. It knows no conflicts, no hair-raising scenes; it knows no development.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Tereza knew what happens during the moment love is born: the woman cannot resist the voice calling forth her terrified soul; the man cannot resist the woman whose soul thus responds to his voice.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")


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