In this entertaining and always stimulating essay, Kundera cleverly sketches out his personal view of the history and value of the novel in Western civilization. Too often, he suggests, a novel is thought about only within the confines of the language and nation of its origin, when in fact the novel's development has always occurred across borders: Laurence Sterne learned from Rabelais, Henry Fielding from Cervantes, Joyce from Flaubert, García Márquez from Kafka. The real work of a novel is not bound up in the specifics of any one language: what makes a novel matter is its ability to reveal some previously unknown aspect of our existence. In The Curtain, Kundera skillfully describes how the best novels do just that.
tarred Review "It's not often that a work comes along that so perfectly distills an approach to art that it realigns the way an art form is understood." - PW.
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The Franco-Czech novelist Milan Kundera was born in Brno and has lived in France, his second homeland, for more than twenty years. He is the author of the novels The Joke, Life is Elsewhere, Farewell Waltz, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Immortality, Slowness, and Identity, and the short story collection Laughable Loves. His works of nonfiction include The Art of the Novel and Testaments Betrayed.
Milan Kundera: miLAN kun-DER-uh
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