Study Guide

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 5, Chapter 3

By Milan Kundera

Part 5, Chapter 3

  • When Tomas returned to Prague from Zurich, the chief surgeon asked him to retract the Oedipus article he wrote.
  • Tomas admits that defending the article isn't important to him (because of the way it was changed before publication).
  • But he knows that two things are at stake. If he retracts the article, he loses his honor. If he does not, he loses his job – the meaning of his entire life.
  • The chief tells him that they won't publish the retraction – they'll just keep it on file.
  • Tomas asks for a week to think it over.