Agnes's Final Afternoon
This highly original book imitates the protagonist, Agnès, of Kundera's novel Immortality. Like all readers of fiction, when Agnès steps out of the car, she steps out of the world of planned routes, responsibilities, and social self, and gives herself up to the discovery of a new landscape, an experience that will transform her. François Ricard's beautiful essay enters into the writings of Milan Kundera in much the same way. The landscape he explores in Agnès's Final Afternoon includes a chain of ten novels, composed between 1959 and 1999; he takes us through the themes and characters of the novels, their structural composition, and innovations of form and content that stretch the boundaries of the novel to breaking point.
François Ricard is a Professor of French Literature at McGill University. He has been writing about the work of Milan Kundera for fifteen years.