Immortality (Perennial Classics)
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Milan Kundera's sixth novel springs from a casual gesture of a woman to her swimming instructor, a gesture that cre-ates a character in the mind of a writer named Kundera. Like Flaubert's Emma or Tolstoy's Anna, Kundera's Agnès becomes an object of fascination, of indefinable longing. From that character springs a novel, a gesture of the imagination that both embodies and articulates Milan Kundera's supreme mastery of the novel and its purpose: to explore thoroughly the great themes of existence.
dared to do so. That is why he had given his daughter all the means she needed to dare. From the moment she got married Agnes lost all the pleasures of solitude: at work she spent eight hours a day in one room with two colleagues; then she returned home, to a four-room apartment. Not a single one of the rooms was hers: there was a large living room, a bedroom for the parents, a room for Brigitte, and Paul's small study. When she complained, Paul suggested that she consider the living room her
young woman whose father is deep in debt and threatened by ruin. His creditor has promised to forgive the father's debt provided his daughter will show herself to him in the nude. After a lengthy inner struggle, Elsa agrees but is so ashamed by the exhibition of her nudity that she goes mad and dies. Don't misunderstand: this is not a moralistic tale intended to denounce the evil, depraved rich! No, it is an erotic novella that leaves you breathless: it lets you understand the power that nudity
this passion? Agnes asked herself, and she thought: When we are thrust out into the world just as we are, we first have to identify with that particular throw of the dice, with that accident organized by the divine computer: to get over our surprise that precisely this (what we see facing us in the mirror) is our self. Without the faith that our face expresses our self, without that basic illusion, that archillusion, we cannot live, or at least we cannot take life seriously. And it isn't enough
Bernard interpreted her surprising physical performance as a challenge to which he could not help but respond. He felt in himself the first anxiety of a young boy afraid that others might question his erotic talents and erotic maturity. That anxiety gave back to Laura the power that she had recently been losing and upon which their relationship had initially been founded: the power of a woman older than her partner. Once again, he had the unpleasant impression that Laura was more experienced
into it, but she held it as tightly as if it contained all her honor, the meaning of her life, perhaps her very soul), while her other hand was immobilized by the clochard's grip. If they had tied both her hands and begun to violate her, she couldn't have felt any worse. The clochard was lifting the hem of her skirt, shouting, "For the lepers! For Africa!" while tears of humiliation ran down her face. But she tried to conceal her humiliation (an acknowledged humiliation is a double humiliation),