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The Festival of Insignificance Summary and Reviews

The Festival of Insignificance

by Milan Kundera

The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera X
The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2015
    128 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Casting light on the most serious of problems and at the same time saying not one serious sentence; being fascinated by the reality of the contemporary world and at the same time completely avoiding realism - that's The Festival of Insignificance. Readers who know Milan Kundera's earlier books know that the wish to incorporate an element of the "unserious" in a novel is not at all unexpected of him. In Immortality, Goethe and Hemingway stroll through several chapters together talking and laughing. And in Slowness, Vera, the author's wife, says to her husband: "you've often told me you meant to write a book one day that would have not a single serious word in it…I warn you: watch out. Your enemies are lying in wait."

Now, far from watching out, Kundera is finally and fully realizing his old aesthetic dream in this novel that we could easily view as a summation of his whole work. A strange sort of summation. Strange sort of epilogue. Strange sort of laughter, inspired by our time, which is comical because it has lost all sense of humor. What more can we say? Nothing. Just read.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This strangely amusing novella has the power to inspire serious efforts to find significance in the very book in which it is so perversely denied." - Kirkus

"This novel is a fitting bookend to Kundera's long career intersecting the absurd and the moral. It is also an argument for more books like it." - Publishers Weekly

"Stylistically and thematically, it's classic Kundera: polyphonic, digressive, intellectual yet anti-philosophical, deliberately strange, and aggressively light. And his descriptions are as beautiful as ever." - Booklist

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Author Information

Milan Kundera Author Biography

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 several books including The Joke (1967), Life is Elsewhere (1969), Farewell Waltz (1972), The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979), Immortality (1990), Slowness (1995), Identity (1998), the most recent The Festival of Insignificance (2015) and the short story collection Laughable Loves (1969). His works of nonfiction include The Art of the Novel and Testaments Betrayed.

Name Pronunciation
Milan Kundera: miLAN kun-DER-uh

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