Study Guide

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 6, Chapter 5

By Milan Kundera

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Part 6, Chapter 5

  • The narrator is interested in the debate between men who doubt being, and men who accept it without reservation.
  • Those who believe that human existence is good, as is told in Genesis, have a basic faith that the narrator calls a "categorical agreement with being" (6.5.2).
  • But everyone, he reminds us, feels that defecation is disgusting. Which means that those who maintain this faith in the good of existence deny defecation – they act as though it does not exist. Such an aesthetic ideal is called kitsch.
  • "Kitsch" is a 19th century German word that has taken on meaning in most Western languages. It is a perspective, which denies everything it finds unacceptable about human existence.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 6, Chapter 5 Study Group

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