|Publisher:||Faber and Faber|
|No. of Units:||1|
|No. of Pages:||314|
A novel of irreconcilable loves and infidelities, which embraces all aspects of human existence, and addresses the nature of twentieth-century 'Being'.
If you are looking for yet another international best seller and a top class story, then the Unbearable Lightness of Being will suit you perfectly. A product of a Czechoslovakian writer Milan Kundera, it has been hailed as a modern classic in many ways. Both touching and compelling, it delves upon love and politics during the communist times in Czechoslovakia from 1968 to the early 80's. The main protagonist in this book is a surgeon named Tomas from Prague, who is locked in a painful affair with his wife Tereza, but also involved in a neurotic relationship with an internationally renowned painter Sabina. Due to his erotic adventures with her, Tereza is subject to constant pain from Tomas due to his infidelity. However for Tomas, he views love and eroticism as two different subjects, and believes they cannot be intertwined. At the same time, another individual Franz is portrayed as Sabina's lover, who is described as compassionate and understanding, but is killed at the hands of muggers in Thailand. Yet another character in the novel is Marie-Claude, who is Franz's wife, but whom Franz does not love. This novel skilfully depicts Kundera's outlook of lightness and contrasts Frederich Nietzsche's views on eternal recurrence, which accordingly is a heavy burden, as is evident in the opening pages of the book in his discourse on this doctrine. Thus the title of his novel is in line with the central theme of the novel which argues whether we have weight or is it the unbearable lightness of being wherein our actions don't live for ever and alternate between weight and a state of lightless existence. There are many intertwining themes in the novel and it’s part meditation and part philosophy along with shades of psychology, politics, and music amongst other things. This novel was adopted as a film in 1988 with the same name.