Study Guide

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 4, Chapter 2

By Milan Kundera

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Part 4, Chapter 2

  • The program Tomas is listening to is a montage of recordings; private conversations of Czechs recorded on secret bugging devices and brought back to Prague.
  • Tomas says that it all started with Jan Prochazka, a 40-year-old Czech novelist who in the 60s was outwardly criticizing public affairs. After the Russian invasion, the press tried to silence him with a smear campaign, but this just made the people like him more. Finally, the radio broadcast Prochazka's private, bugged conversations in which he made fun of many of his friends.
  • Tomas is disgusted and thinks that such a violation of privacy could only happen in Prague. But Tereza tells him that, when she was fourteen, she kept a secret diary. Her mother found it one day and read it aloud to all her friends during lunch.

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