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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 #7

The student-mistress was much younger than Sabina, and the musical composition of her life had scarcely been outlined; she was grateful to Franz for the motifs he gave her to insert. Franz's Grand March was now her creed as well. Music was now her Dionysian intoxication. They often went dancing together. They lived in truth, and nothing they did was secret. (3.11.9)

The narrator first introduced Kafka's phrase "living in truth" toward the start of Part 3, and asked what it meant. Now that we've arrived at the end of Part 3, do we have a definition of what it means to live in truth?

Quote #8

The girl with the glasses could barely suppress her yawns, while Franz smiled blissfully at her side. The longer he looked at the pleasing gray-haired man with the admirable index finger, the more he saw him as a secret messenger, an angelic intermediary between him and his goddess. He closed his eyes and dreamed. He closed his eyes as he had closed them on Sabina's body in fifteen European hotels and one in America. (3.11.11)

How interesting that we end a segment of the novel devoted to misunderstandings on communication between Sabina and Franz. Is the "secret message" that Franz believes his goddess is sending to him genuine, or is he misinterpreting and misunderstanding her yet again?

Quote #9

I have said before that 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. (5.12.9)

Think about this in the context of Franz and Sabina's "Dictionary of Misunderstood Words."

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