The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), by Milan Kundera, is a philosophic novel about a man and his two women and their lives in the Prague Spring of the Czechoslovak Communist period in 1968. he characters are Tomáš, a successful surgeon; his wife Tereza, a photographer anguished by his infidelities; Sabina, a free-spirit artist, who is Tomáš’s lover; and the secondary characters Franz, the Swiss university professor lover of Sabina; and Simon, Tomáš’s estranged son from an earlier marriage. Challenging Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of eternal recurrence (the universe and its events have already occurred and will recur ad infinitum), the story’s thematic meditations posit the alternative that each person has only one life to live, and that which occurs in that life, occurs only once shall never occur again — thus the “lightness” of being; whereas eternal recurrence is the “heaviness” threatening the meaning of said life.

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The 199th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 8th on The Ideal Library (Book)
  2. - 47th on The Telegraph’s 100 Novels Everyone Should Read (Telegraph)
  3. - 84th on Harvard Book Store Staff's Favorite 100 Books (Harvard Book Store)
  4. - 112th on The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time (The Novel 100)
  5. - The 100 Best Books in the World (AbeBooks.de (in German))
  6. - From Zero to Well-Read in 100 Books (Jeff O'Neal at Bookriot.com)
  7. - The Bigger Read List (English PEN)
  8. - 50 Memorable Books from 50 Years of Books to Remember (The New York Public Library)

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