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


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  • But was it love? The feeling of wanting to die beside her was clearly exaggerated: he had seen her only once before in his life! Was it simply the hysteria of a man, who, aware deep down of his inaptitude for love, felt the self-deluding need to simulate it?
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • His overriding life necessity was not love, it was his profession…He had come to medicine not by coincidence or calculation but by a deep inner desire. Insofar as it is possible to divide people into categories, the surest criterion is the deep-seated desires that orient them to one or another lifelong activity. Every Frenchman is different. But all the actors the world over are similar.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Now, perhaps, we are in a better position to understand the abyss separating Sabina and Franz: he listened eagerly to the story of her life and she was equally eager to hear the story of his, but although they had a clear understanding of the logical meaning of the words they exchanged, they failed to hear the semantic susurrus of the river flowing through them.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • The day after his father left, Franz and his mother went into town together, and as they left home Franz noticed that her shoes did not match. He was in a quandary: he wanted to point out the mistake, but was afraid he would hurt her. So, during the two hours they spent walking through the city together he kept his eyes focused on her feet. It was then he had his first inkling of what it means to suffer.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Yas,am ne kadar ac?mas?z olursa olsun, mezarl?kta hep huzur vard?r.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")


  • A person who longs to leave the place where he lives is an unhappy person.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Cemeteries in Bohemia are like gardens. The graves are covered with grass and colourful flowers. Modest tombstones are lost in the greenery. When the sun goes down, the cemetery sparkles with tiny candles... no matter how brutal life becomes, peace always reigns in the cemetery. Even in wartime, even in Hitler's time, even in Stalin's time..
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • How did the senator know that children meant happiness? Could he see into their souls? What if the moment they were out of sight, three of them jumped the fourth and began beating him up?
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • On the surface, an intelligible lie; underneath, the unintelligible truth.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • The goals we pursue are always veiled. A girl who longs for marriage longs for something she knows nothing about. The boy who hankers after fame has no idea what fame is. The thing that gives our every move its meaning is always totally unknown to us.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Yes, if you're looking for infinity, just close your eyes!
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limits of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Culture is perishing in overproduction, in an avalanche of words, in the madness of quantity.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Human life occurs only once, and the reason we cannot determine which of our decisions are good and which bad is that in a given situation we can make only one decision; we are not granted a second, third, or fourth life in which to compare various decisions.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Once her love had been publicized, it would gain weight, become a burden.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")


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