Sunday, April 16, 2006

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Anyone who thinks that the Communist regimes of Central Europe are exclusively the work of criminals is overlooking a basic truth: the criminal regimes are made not by criminals but by enthusiasts convinced they had discovered the only road to paradise. They defended that road so valiantly that they were forced to execute many people. Later it became clear that there was no paradise, that the enthusiasts were therefore murderers.

The brotherhood of man on earth will be possible only on a base of kitsch. And no one knows this better than politicians. Whenever a camera is in the offing, they immediately run to the nearest child, lift it in the air, kiss it on the cheek. Kitsch is the aesthetic ideal of all politicians and all political parties and movements.

In the realm of totalitarian kitsch, all answers are given in advance and prelude any questions. It follows, then, that the true opponent of totalitarian kitsch is the person who asks questions.

5 comments:

wandering-woman said...

Ah, she digs into another cherished, favorite book..and another I don't have with me.

You feed me, little by little with these little lost puppies, you know that right?

And this is a GREAT quote for Spain right now.

Hmmm..Always a good quote for back there where I come from to, HUH?

here's to the people who ask the questions

oh and to your blog

woman wandering said...

We watched the movie this afternoon. My muse had abandoned me but I wanted to write ... hence the midday screening. :)

I think I've seen the book secondhand, I'll go searching during the week as it seems like a must-read.

It seemed like a great quote for the entire world just now ...

wandering-woman said...

Oh, you must read it! I saw the movie first, and loved it, but oh, how he writes. If you want, I can have my brother bring my copy to Ireland, where we are meeting in JUne, if you want to wait :-) and we'll complete the bookcrossing.

traveller one said...

I love this idea from Kundera's book. You really must read it and in fact ALL his books are wonderful. The movie was fab too!

woman wandering said...

Okay, sounds lovely ... I'll wait, and post 'Fugitive Pieces' meanwhile :)