Tag Archives: Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Donald Trump

Czech author Milan Kundera warned about how dictatorships thrive off of our forgetting. In a “Rolling Stone” article, Charlie Pierce argues that forgetting has led to the rise of Donald Trump.

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Lit Explains Romney’s Off-Putting Laugh

Lewis Carroll, Kundera, and Dostoevsky help us understand why Mitt Romney’s laugh makes us nervous.

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For a Political Reality Check, Look to Dogs

What keeps cynical leaders from restructuring reality to suit their ends? Modern democracies have a number of institutions to keep us grounded in truth and principle. In times of stress, these can become the targets of extremist political movements. In America we have rightwing commentators and rightwing media (most notably Rush Limbaugh and Fox “News”) […]

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Obama, Don’t Mess with My Kitsch

I have been continuously bewildered by the state of political discourse in this country over the past two years. The vituperation that normally reasonable conservative intellectuals have unleashed against President Obama has struck me as, at times, unhinged. In his novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), Czech author Milan Kundera has provided me with […]

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Political Campaigns, Unbearably Light

We have heard a lot of heated rhetoric in the course of this election season. Words have soared and people have become impassioned. Now that voting has occurred, we can only hope that our newly elected representatives will make the transition from (in the famous formulation of Mario Cuomo) the poetry of campaigning to the […]

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The Arc of the History Bends towards Kafka

Literature provides a special way of knowing, a way different than, say, philosophy. But it’s hard to prove this because we need to use the language of rational philosophy to make literature’s case. Once we have done so, philosophy can seem more effective than literature. After all, it tells us things straight up, without resorting […]

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Do Mistaken Idealists Apologize?

Watch out for political purists and dogmatic idealists. They can do a lot of damage. A writer who delivers this warning is Milan Kundera, a Czech novelist who owes his insights to his experience with communism and the 1968 Soviet invasion. Expect to encounter regular posts from me about Kundera because I am mentoring a […]

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