jueves, 10 de julio de 2014

17 quotes from Ignorance by Milan Kundera


“Tell me,” he said. “Is this still our country?”

Everyone is wrong about the future. Man can only be certain about the present moment.

To be willing to die for one’s country: every nation has known that temptation to sacrifice.

She moves on, and she reflects that today she is finally carrying out the farewell walk she failed to take last time; she is finally saying the Great Farewells to the city that she loves more than any other and that she is prepared to lose once again, without regret, to be worthy of a life of her own.

A person who messes up her goodbyes shouldn’t expect much from her reunions.

And there lies the horror: the past we remember is devoid of time. Impossible to re-experience a love the way we reread a book or resee a film.

How could one corpse keep another one safe?

Listening to the two of them, Irena got the sense that eroticism had once and for all turned into childish clowning.

Oh, those poor countries shaken by great historical dates! When the battle is over, everybody stampedes off on punitive expeditions into the past to hunt down the guilty parties. But who were the guilty parties? The communists who won in 1948? Or their ineffective adversaries who lost? Everybody was hunting down the guilty and everybody was being hunted down.

The life we’ve left behind us has a bad habit of stepping out of the shadows, of bringing complaints against us, of taking us to court.

He strains to call up the features of that exotic girl who compared herself not to pop singers or tennis players but to poets, poets “who stayed faithful unto death”!

I wallowed in her sadness.

You told me love was only about bodies. Dear girl, you would run off in a minute if a man told you he was only interested in your body. And you would come to understand the dreadful sensation of loneliness.

The dead are timid.

Arriving on their city, he slowed down; he was curious to see how many windows would be draped with red flags which, in that year of defeat, were nothing else but signals of submission.

It was practically a law: People who see their lives as a shipwreck set down to hunt the guilty parties.

While amid the universal orgy her own body roamed the streets neglected and invisible.

-Milan Kundera

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