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Abraham Lincoln

Milan Kundera Quotes

Milan Kundera

Milan Kundera (born 1 April 1929) is the Czech Republic’s most recognized living writer. Of Czech origin, he has lived in exile in France since 1975, having become a naturalised citizen in 1981. He “sees himself as a French writer and insists his work should be studied as French literature and classified as such in book stores.”
Kundera’s best-known work is The Unbearable Lightness of Being. His books were banned by the Communist regimes of Czechoslovakia until the downfall of the regime in the Velvet Revolution of 1989. He lives virtually incognito and rarely speaks to the media. A perennial contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature, he has been nominated on several occasions.





1. BUSINESS HAS ONLY TWO FUNCTIONS – MARKETING AND INNOVATION.
2. METAPHORS ARE DANGEROUS. LOVE BEGINS WITH A METAPHOR. WHICH IS TO SAY, LOVE BEGINS AT THE POINT WHEN A WOMAN ENTERS HER FIRST WORD INTO OUR POETIC MEMORY.
3. THERE IS NOTHING HEAVIER THAN COMPASSION. NOT EVEN ONE’S OWN PAIN WEIGHS SO HEAVY AS THE PAIN ONE FEELS FOR SOMEONE, FOR SOMEONE, PAIN INTENSIFIED BY THE IMAGINATION AND PROLONGED BY A HUNDRED ECHOS.
4. NO GREAT MOVEMENT DESIGNED TO CHANGE THE WORLD CAN BEAR TO BE LAUGHED AT OR BELITTLED. MOCKERY IS A RUST THAT CORRODES ALL IT TOUCHES.
5. CULTURE IS PERISHING IN OVERPRODUCTION, IN AN AVALANCHE OF WORDS, IN THE MADNESS OF QUANTITY.
6. HATE TRAPS US BY BINDING US TOO TIGHTLY TO OUR ADVERSARY.
7. ALL GREAT NOVELS, ALL TRUE NOVELS, ARE BISEXUAL.
8. NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE SCORN IT, KITSCH IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE HUMAN CONDITION.
9. DOGS ARE OUR LINK TO PARADISE. THEY DON’T KNOW EVIL OR JEALOUSY OR DISCONTENT.
10. THERE ARE NO SMALL PARTS. ONLY SMALL ACTORS.
11. A NOVEL THAT DOES NOT UNCOVER A HITHERTO UNKNOWN SEGMENT OF EXISTENCE IS IMMORAL. KNOWLEDGE IS THE NOVEL’S ONLY MORALITY.
12. THE STUPIDITY OF PEOPLE COMES FROM HAVING AN ANSWER FOR EVERYTHING. THE WISDOM OF THE NOVEL COMES FROM HAVING A QUESTION FOR EVERYTHING.
13. THE STRUGGLE OF MAN AGAINST POWER IS THE STRUGGLE OF MEMORY AGAINST FORGETTING.
14. YOU CAN UNDERSTAND NOTHING ABOUT ART, PARTICULARLY MODERN ART, IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT IMAGINATION IS A VALUE IN ITSELF.
15. I FIND MYSELF FASCINATING.
16. NOTHING REQUIRES A GREATER EFFORT OF THOUGHT THAN ARGUMENTS TO JUSTIFY THE RULE OF NON-THOUGHT.
17. TRUE HUMAN GOODNESS, IN ALL ITS PURITY AND FREEDOM, CAN COME TO THE FORE ONLY WHEN ITS RECIPIENT HAS NO POWER.
18. AMBITION IS A POOR EXCUSE FOR NOT HAVING SENSE ENOUGH TO BE LAZY.
19. TO BE A WRITER DOES NOT MEAN TO PREACH A TRUTH, IT MEANS TO DISCOVER A TRUTH.
20. HAPPINESS IS THE LONGING FOR REPETITION.
21. THE WORTH OF A HUMAN BEING LIES IN THE ABILITY TO EXTEND ONESELF, TO GO OUTSIDE ONESELF, TO EXIST IN AND FOR OTHER PEOPLE.
22. TO SIT WITH A DOG ON A HILLSIDE ON A GLORIOUS AFTERNOON IS TO BE BACK IN EDEN, WHERE DOING NOTHING WAS NOT BORING – IT WAS PEACE.
23. A WORKER MAY BE THE HAMMER’S MASTER, BUT THE HAMMER STILL PREVAILS. A TOOL KNOWS EXACTLY HOW IT IS MEANT TO BE HANDLED, WHILE THE USER OF THE TOOL CAN ONLY HAVE AN APPROXIMATE IDEA.
24. PEOPLE ARE GOING DEAF BECAUSE MUSIC IS PLAYED LOUDER AND LOUDER, BUT BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING DEAF, IT HAS TO BE PLAYED LOUDER STILL.
25. EROTICISM IS LIKE A DANCE: ONE ALWAYS LEADS THE OTHER.
26. ART IS THE HUMAN DISPOSITION OF SENSIBLE OR INTELLIGIBLE MATTER FOR AN ESTHETIC END.
27. HOW GOODNESS HEIGHTENS BEAUTY!
28. MYSTICISM AND EXAGGERATION GO TOGETHER. A MYSTIC MUST NOT FEAR RIDICULE IF HE IS TO PUSH ALL THE WAY TO THE LIMITS OF HUMILITY OR THE LIMITS OF DELIGHT.
29. FOR A NOVELIST, A GIVEN HISTORIC SITUATION IS AN ANTHROPOLOGIC LABORATORY IN WHICH HE EXPLORES HIS BASIC QUESTION: WHAT IS HUMAN EXISTENCE?
30. WITHOUT REALIZING IT, THE INDIVIDUAL COMPOSES HIS LIFE ACCORDING TO THE LAWS OF BEAUTY EVEN IN TIMES OF GREATEST DISTRESS.
31. LISTENING TO A NEWS BROADCAST IS LIKE SMOKING A CIGARETTE AND CRUSHING THE BUTT IN THE ASHTRAY.
32. NO ACT IS OF ITSELF EITHER GOOD OR BAD. ONLY ITS PLACE IN THE ORDER OF THINGS MAKES IT GOOD OR BAD.
33. ONLY A LITERARY WORK THAT REVEALS AN UNKNOWN FRAGMENT OF HUMAN EXISTENCE HAS A REASON FOR BEING.
34. OPTIMISM IS THE OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE.
35. HE TOOK OVER ANGER TO INTIMIDATE SUBORDINATES, AND IN TIME ANGER TOOK OVER HIM.
36. I THINK I AM A MUCH BETTER ACTOR THAN I HAVE ALLOWED MYSELF TO BE.
37. NOTHING IS MORE REPUGNANT TO ME THAN BROTHERLY FEELINGS GROUNDED IN THE COMMON BASENESS PEOPLE SEE IN ONE ANOTHER.
38. LET US CONSIDER THE CRITIC, THEREFORE, AS A DISCOVERER OF DISCOVERIES.
39. MAN’S WORLD IS THE PLANET OF INEXPERIENCE.
40. NUDITY IS THE UNIFORM OF THE OTHER SIDE… NUDITY IS A SHROUD.
41. THE BEST ACTORS DO NOT LET THE WHEELS SHOW.
42. THE SOUND OF LAUGHTER IS LIKE THE VAULTED DOME OF A TEMPLE OF HAPPINESS.
43. WITHOUT THE MEDITATIVE BACKGROUND THAT IS CRITICISM, WORKS BECOME ISOLATED GESTURES, HISTORICAL ACCIDENTS, SOON FORGOTTEN.
44. THERE ARE METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS, PROBLEMS OF HUMAN EXISTENCE, THAT PHILOSOPHY HAS NEVER KNOWN HOW TO GRASP IN ALL THEIR CONCRETENESS AND THAT ONLY THE NOVEL CAN SEIZE.
45. I AM INCAPABLE OF SPEAKING OF MYSELF AND OF MY LIFE AND THE STATES OF MY SOUL, I AM DISCREET TO AN ALMOST PATHOLOGICAL DEGREE, AND THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO AGAINST THAT.
46. THE LIGHT THAT RADIATES FROM THE GREAT NOVELS TIME CAN NEVER DIM, FOR HUMAN EXISTENCE IS PERPETUALLY BEING FORGOTTEN BY MAN AND THUS THE NOVELISTS’ DISCOVERIES, HOWEVER OLD THEY MAY BE, WILL NEVER CEASE TO ASTONISH.
47. THE NOVELIST TEACHES THE READER TO COMPREHEND THE WORLD AS A QUESTION. THERE IS WISDOM AND TOLERANCE IN THAT ATTITUDE. IN A WORLD BUILT ON SACROSANCT CERTAINTIES THE NOVEL IS DEAD.
48. THOSE WHO CONSIDER THE DEVIL TO BE A PARTISAN OF EVIL AND ANGELS TO BE WARRIORS FOR GOOD ACCEPT THE DEMAGOGY OF THE ANGELS. THINGS ARE CLEARLY MORE COMPLICATED.

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