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martes, 11 de noviembre de 2014

My notes from Kundera Part II Immortality





1.       They used to say about the mayor of a certain Moravian village, which I often visited on boyhood outings, that he had an open coffin at home and that in happy moments when he felt well satisfied with himself, he would lie down in it and visualize his funeral. These reveries in the coffin: he dwelt on his immortality.

2.       … he wanted to resemble the dead, which was much wiser, for death and immortality are an indissoluble pair of lovers, and the person whose face merges in our mind with the faces of the dead is already immortal while still alive.

3.       A man longs to be immortal, and one day the camera will show us a mouth contorted into a pathetic grimace – the only thing we will remember about him, the only thing which will remain as a parabola of his entire life.

4.       Even when no lens was aimed at them, people already behaved as if they were being photographed.

5.       Napoleon was a true Frenchman in that he was not satisfied with sending hundreds of thousands to their death but wanted in addition to be admired by writers.

6.       To carry the shield of childhood in front of her: that was her life-long ruse.

7.       Strength is ebbing, and a person is seized by disarming fatigue. Fatigue: a silent bridge leading from the shore of life to the shore of death. At that stage death is so close that looking at it has already become boring.

8.       Man reckons with immortality, and forgets to reckon with death.

9.       Does love for art really exist and has it ever existed? Is it not a delusion? When Lenin proclaimed that he loved Beethoven’s Appasionata above all else, what was it that he really loved? What did he hear? Music? Or a majestic noise which reminded him of the solemn stirrings in his soul, a longing for blood, brotherhood, executions, justice and the absolute?

10.   Did [Bettina] love [Beethoven’s] music with the quiet love that draws us to a magical metaphor or to the harmony of two colours in a painting? Or was it rather the kind of aggressive passion that makes us join political parties?

11.   … even though it is possible to design, manipulate and orchestrate one’s immortality in advance, it never comes to pass the way it has been intended. Beethoven’s hat became immortal. The plan succeeded. But what the significance of the immortal hat turn out to be, that could not be determined in advance.

12.   I realized one day that this was the point of it all, I panicked. From that time on I must have told people a thousand times to leave my life alone. [Hemingway]

13.   A man can take his own life. But he cannot take his own immortality.


14.   But the word ‘dearest’ only means that he was dearer to him than all others, who frankly speaking were not so very dear to him at all.


-Milan Kundera


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