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Thread: Milan Kundera's new novel

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Milan Kundera's new novel

    I just found out at another forum that Milan Kundera published a new novel in 2013, and no one told me about it!

    It was published first in Italian instead of French, and it's called La Festa dell'Insignificanza. Here's the publisher's link and my translation:

    "To shine a light upon the most serious problems and at the same time refraining from uttering a single serious sentence, to experience the fascination of the reality of the contemporary world and at the same time to avoid realism altogether - that's The Feast of Insignificance. Whoever knows Kundera's books knows that his wish to incorporate in a novel a drop of "non seriousness" is nothing new for him. In Immortality Goethe and Hemingway walk around in several chapters, chatting, having fun. In Slowness, Vera, the author's wife, warns him: "You've told me so many times that one day you'd write a novel wherein not a single word would be serious... I caution though: be careful." Why, instead of being careful Kundera has finally accomplished his ancient aesthetic dream - and The Feast of Insignificance can be considered a synthesis of his entire oeuvre. A strange synthesis. A strange epilogue. A strange laughter, inspired by our era which is comical because it has lost all sense of humour. What else is there to say? Nothing. Read it!"

    It seems the novel's coming out in Portugal next Fall. But I'll probably wait for the English translation, I've gotten used to reading him in English.

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    Default Re: Milan Kundera's new novel

    Oh wow. That's excellent news! Now that I googled it, it seems that about a month ago there were quite a few articles about it in Polish press but I missed them all. I couldn't find any information about the Polish translation, though. But it's Kundera! I'm sure someone is working on it.

    Btw, I love the covers of the books on the Italian site. Not so much the Kundera one, but others look very appealing.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Milan Kundera's new novel

    Good news! I find it very strange, however, that it was published in Italian since Kundera has been writing directly in French for quite some time.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Milan Kundera's new novel

    I was wondering this - it's possible, I guess, that it was originally written in Italian, but I think it's more likely that something odd is going on at the publisher's that's allowed the Italians to get their version out first.

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    Default Re: Milan Kundera's new novel

    On the website that Heteronym linked you can see that it was translated by Massimo Rizzante. Ho translated The Curtain as well which was originally written in French. So that one must have been written in French as well.

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    Default Re: Milan Kundera's new novel

    Quote Originally Posted by pesahson View Post
    On the website that Heteronym linked you can see that it was translated by Massimo Rizzante. Ho translated The Curtain as well which was originally written in French. So that one must have been written in French as well.
    It's getting stranger and stranger. What can it all mean?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Milan Kundera's new novel

    According to Didi on that other forum, it's a tradition of Kundera's that all of his books are first published outside France.

  8. #8

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    My French copy arrived today. Don't expect me to report back quickly, my French being what it is (hardly fluent), but report back I will in time

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Milan Kundera's new novel

    Is it one of those standard yellow covers? They're ... peculiar.

    I don't have high expectations of this novel tbh. I still want to read it, but his French books are far from his best.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Milan Kundera's new novel

    Yes it is. Bit old fashioned looking. It's got a blue strip around the middle with a weird face on it as well.

    I agree with you, but hoping for a return to form - if it's a good one he might stand a good chance of that Nobel this year!

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    Default Re: Milan Kundera's new novel

    Quote Originally Posted by pesahson View Post
    Is it one of those standard yellow covers? They're ... peculiar.

    I don't have high expectations of this novel tbh. I still want to read it, but his French books are far from his best.
    I think one of his best novels came from his French period, the otherworldly Immortality. Those dialogues between Goethe and Hemingway in Heaven, that's the stuff of dreams and why I fucking love to read!

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    Default Re: Milan Kundera's new novel

    Quote Originally Posted by Heteronym View Post
    I think one of his best novels came from his French period, the otherworldly Immortality. Those dialogues between Goethe and Hemingway in Heaven, that's the stuff of dreams and why I fucking love to read!
    It's my favourite as well, mostly because the story of Agnes really touched me. It is his French period? Maybe more of a transitional novel. It was written in Czech but first published in French. Kind of a similar situation to his latest book, now I notice. It is different then Lightness and The Book of ... (I guess we're assuming those three are linked and form some sort of trilogy).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Milan Kundera's new novel

    Quote Originally Posted by Heteronym View Post
    I think one of his best novels came from his French period, the otherworldly Immortality. Those dialogues between Goethe and Hemingway in Heaven, that's the stuff of dreams and why I fucking love to read!
    I agree. It is my favorite Kundera novel; a nearly perfect book.

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