Monday, April 17, 2006

Milan Kundera, Writer

I watched Milan Kundera's movie, The Unbearable Lightness of Being' and loved it. It made me curious about the man himself and while wandering, on this very grey Antwerpen day, I found an interesting interview with Milan.

A grey day ... perhaps not actually so grey when I look outside but since I was small I have had days I described as being like grey-sundays-in-dunedin; a day made up of a particular boredom or feeling of emptiness that translates to the colour grey.

And so I've been webwandering between Easter outings and chores ... Kundera is fascinating, as was Fellini and Pirandello and I was intrigued by what Milan Kundera said of the translators of his writing ...

Alas, our translators betray us. They do not dare translate the unusual in our texts - the uncommon, the original. They fear that the critics will accuse them of translating badly. To protect themselves, they trivialize us. You have no idea how much time and energy I have lost correcting the translations of my books.

Later he says, Hermann Broch, the Austrian novelist whom I love above all, has said, ''The only morality for a writer is knowledge.'' Only a literary work that reveals an unknown fragment of human existence has a reason for being. To be a writer does not mean to preach a truth; it means to discover a truth.


Mark J said...

I read The Unbearable Lightness of Being when I was a teenager, and really looked forward to the film. How could you miss, with good old Daniel Day Lewis and Lena Olin?
For me, like most translations to film, The Unbearable Lightness of Being glossed over so much of the minuite of the book. I have to agree however, that the film was beautifully shot, but even 10 years later I'm still unsure about the ending....

Oh and BTW - you are totally wrong about Dunedin "grey Sundays". They were oftem Monday through Saturday as well. :)

woman wandering said...

Lena ... don't you mean the stunning Juliette Binoche ... okay okay, Lena Olin was superb too.

How come you didn't pass the book onto me, Mark?

Dunedin ... you know what, I think I've found its sister-weather-city ... you forgot middle-of-summer-Christmas-day-grey too.