May 29, 2023
This Book Has Had the BIGGEST Impact On Me (So Far This Year!)
I realized, while reflecting on the last few conversations of which I partook, that I twice made reference to one special book:
“The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera.
Kundera, a Czech-French author who is (at the time of this posting) an incredible 94 years of age, is an extraordinary man. Twice expelled from the Czech Communist Party, he’s a reform-minded liberal bohemian (in the best sense of the word) to whom my friend and prior guest, Noah Charney, introduced me.
In his 1984 masterpiece, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, Kundera employed his capacious intellect and the full force of his literary talent to create an unforgettable book–of which I STRONGLY encourage you to purchase a copy!
The book begins with a contemplation of Nietzsche’s terrifying doctrine of “Eternal Recurrence”, by which I’ve always been fascinated. From this doctrine (or its alternative!) comes the “lightness” of being–the meaninglessness that attends to a life whose fleeting moments are brief, vanishing, and never to happen again.
Nietzschean philosophy permeates the work, but Kundera also explores political, sexual, cultural, and autobiographical themes.
A man of the Left, his criticism of the Left is shockingly candid, incisive, and deep. The “Grand March”, in which he himself participated as a young man, is still going on today. Indeed, it’s likely never to end.
And his idea of “Totalitarian Kitsch” aptly describes the strange advertisements and messages (I’m talking to you, Bud Light and The North Face!) with which our social media feeds are now awash.
Check your local library or bookstore for a copy of Kundera’s work.
This is the version I rented (and then purchased) from Amazon: