Milan Kundera

AGAINST WRITING

AGAINST WRITING

In Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, there is a poignant exchange between the nameless master of the novel’s title, and the everyman-poet Ivan Bezdomny:

“What, don't you like my poetry?” asked Ivan with some curiosity.
“I hate it.”
“Which poems have you read?”

Kundera's Gifts

Reading The Curtain will improve the reader's enjoyment of Kundera's novels, and vice versa. He praises Herman Broch's daring use of lengthy essayistic passages in The Sleepwalkers, and this is certainly true of his own works, with their essayistic and tangential anecdotal passages leaping out of the character's concerns or leading up to some new revelation. It is a wider conception of the novel than the English speaking world generally accepts, and it's one that Kundera has consciously expanded beyond the limits of his fictional works.