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


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  • She knew, of course that she was being supremely unfair, that Franz was the best man she ever had- he was intelligent, he understood her paintings, he was handsome and good-but the more she thought about it, the more she longed to ravish his intelligence, defile his kindheartedness, and violate his powerless strength
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • We all need someone to look at us. We can be divided into four categories according to the kind of look we wish to live under . . . The fourth category, the rarest, is the category of people who live in the imaginary eyes of those who are not present. They are the dreamers.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • Being in a foreign country means walking a tightrope high above the ground without the net afforded a person by the country where he has his family, colleagues, and friends, and where he can easily say what he has to say in a language he has known from childhood.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • For Sabina, living in truth, lying neither to ourselves nor to others, was possible only away from the public: the moment someone keeps an eye on what we do, we involuntarily make allowances for that eye, and nothing we do is truthful. Having a public, keeping a public in mind, means living in lies.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • It follows, then, that the aesthetic ideal of the categorical agreement with being is a world in which shit is denied and everyone acts as though it did not exist. This aesthetic ideal is called kitsch.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")


  • She regarded books as the emblems of secret brotherhood. A man with this sort of library couldn't possibly hurt her.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")

  • What does it mean to live in truth? Putting it negatively is easy enough: it means not lying, not hiding, and not dissimulating.
    (Milan Kundera, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being")


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