The Festival of Insignificance

The Festival of Insignificance

Last 9 in stock
ISBN
9780571316496
Published
07/04/2016
9780571316496
Format
Paperback
Price
£7.99
Paperback
128

About the Book

Casting light on the most serious of problems and at the same time saying not one serious sentence; being fascinated by the reality of the contemporary world and at the same time completely avoiding realism-that's The Festival of Insignificance. Readers who know Kundera's earlier books know that the wish to incorporate an element of the "unserious" in a novel is not at all unexpected of him. In Immortality, Goethe and Hemingway stroll through several chapters together talking and laughing. And in Slowness, Vera, the author's wife, says to her husband: "you've often told me you meant to write a book one day that would have not a single serious word in it... I warn you: watch out. Your enemies are lying in wait."

Now, far from watching out, Kundera is finally and fully realizing his old aesthetic dream in this novel that we could easily view as a summation of his whole work. A strange sort of summation. Strange sort of epilogue. Strange sort of laughter, inspired by our time, which is comical because it has lost all sense of humor. What more can we say? Nothing. Just read.

Casting light on the most serious of problems and at the same time saying not one serious sentence; being fascinated by the reality of the contemporary world and at the same time completely avoiding realism-that's The Festival of Insignificance. Readers who know Kundera's earlier books know that the wish to incorporate an element of the "unserious" in a novel is not at all unexpected of him. In Immortality, Goethe and Hemingway stroll through several chapters together talking and laughing. And in Slowness, Vera, the author's wife, says to her husband: "you've often told me you meant to write a book one day that would have not a single serious word in it... I warn you: watch out. Your enemies are lying in wait."Now, far from watching out, Kundera is finally and fully realizing his old aesthetic dream in this novel that we could easily view as a summation of his whole work. A strange sort of summation. Strange sort of epilogue. Strange sort of laughter, inspired by our time, which is comical because it has lost all sense of humor. What more can we say? Nothing. Just read.
  • Milan Kundera

    Milan Kundera was born in Brno and has lived in France for over forty years. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed and bestselling novels The Joke (1967), Life is Elsewhere (1973), The Farewell Waltz (1976), The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1978), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), Immortality (1991), and the short-story collection Laughable Loves (1969), which were all originally written in Czech. His play, Jacques and His Master (1984), Slowness (1995), Identity (1998) and Ignorance (2002) were all originally written in French. Milan Kundera has also written extensively about the novel in four collections of essays - The Art of the Novel (1968), Testaments Betrayed (1993), The Curtain (2007) and Encounter (2009).

“Only Milan Kundera could title what is likely to be his final book The Festival of Insignificance ... [A] work so bizarre and angular that, despite its brevity, it defies straightforward summary ... In Slowness, the author's wife says: "You've often told me that you meant to write a book one day that would have not a single serious word in it." The Festival of Insignificance might just be that book, less a novel than the culmination of a fervent pursuit of an aesthetic ideal.”
- Duncan White, Telegraph
“[D]ay-lit and funny and crisply elegant ... The lack of clutter on the pages is almost sensuous ... [T]his austere prose - with its elusive ironies, and aura of the 18th century - works beautifully, just as itself, in Linda Asher's translation from the French.”
- Tessa Hadley, Guardian

Books by this Author

The Joke (Faber Modern Classics)

The Joke (Faber Modern Classics)

Milan Kundera

The Festival of Insignificance

The Festival of Insignificance

Milan Kundera

Encounter

Encounter

Milan Kundera

The Curtain

The Curtain

Milan Kundera