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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


by Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Michael Henry Heim's translation.

Quote #4

Didn't they then at last agree on something?

No. (3.5.15-16)

How are Franz and Sabina still together if their relationship is characterized by all these misunderstandings?

Quote #5

He started explaining his new approach to her, a combination of photography and oil, but he had scarcely got through three sentences when Marie-Anne began whistling a tune. The painter was speaking slowly and with great concentration and did not hear the whistling.

"Will you tell me why you're whistling? " Franz whispered.

"Because I don't like to hear people talk about politics," she answered out loud. (3.6.12-4)

This is an interesting passage, and could be taken a few different ways. The painter is talking about art, and Marie-Anne thinks he is talking about politics. It's possible she's just not listening. Or it could be that this is another example of words misunderstood, as we've just seen with Sabina and Franz. It's also a reminder that art and politics are not totally separate realms in this novel. Remember that Sabina uses art as a way to rebel against kitsch.

Quote #6

She thought about that stone all day. Why had it horrified her so?

She answered herself: When graves are covered with stones, the dead can no longer get out.

But the dead can't get out anyway! What difference does it make whether they're covered with soil or stones? (3.10.10-3)

This is an interesting passage in light of Tereza's dream of being buried alive in the ground. Again we see that there are interesting connections between the different story lines in Unbearable Lightness.

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