Ignorance
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Ignorance

By (author) Milan Kundera , Translated by Linda Asher

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In Ignorance, set in contemporary Prague, one of the most distinguished writers of our time takes up the complex and emotionally charged theme of exile and creates from it a literary masterpiece. A man and a woman meet by chance while returning to their homeland, which they had abandoned twenty years earlier when they chose to become exiles. Will they manage to pick up the thread of their strange love story, interrupted almost as soon as it began and then lost in the tides of history? The truth is that after such a long absence 'their memories no longer match.' We always believe that our memories coincide with those of the person we loved, that we experienced the same thing. But this is just an illusion as the memory records only 'an insignificant, minuscule particle' of the past, 'and no one knows why it's this bit and not any other bit.' We live our lives sunk in a vast forgetting, and we refuse to see it. Only those who return after twenty years, like Ulysses returning to his native Ithaca, can be dazzled and astounded by observing the goddess of ignorance first-hand. Milan Kundera has taken these dizzying concepts of absence, memory, forgetting, and ignorance, and transformed them into material for a novel, masterfully orchestrating them into a polyphonic and moving work.

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  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 124 x 196 x 16mm | 99.79g
  • 04 Sep 2003
  • FABER & FABER
  • London
  • English
  • Main
  • 0571215513
  • 9780571215515
  • 33,157

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Author Information

The French-Czech novelist Milan Kundera was born in the Czech Republic and has lived in France since 1975. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed and bestselling novels The Joke, Life is Elsewhere, The Farewell Waltz, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Immortality, and the short-story collection Laughable Loves -- all originally in Czech. His more recent novels , Slowness, Identity, and Ignorance, as well as his nonfiction works, The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, The Curtain, and Encounter, were originally written in French.

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Review quote

"Milan's Kundera's resonant new novel IGNORANCE ....[is] wonderfully nuanced .... affecting."--Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

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Customer reviews

A must-read for Kundera fans

The title says it all really. The main elements that make his stories so great are all evident here: relationships, lust, desire, returning to homeland... I really loved this story and highlighted so many parts. It also introduced to a few composers who I will seek out the music of. I recommend reading this if you enjoyed 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being'. I felt a real connection to both stories.show more
by Vy