English 437 Notes.doc Kundera

English 437 Notes.doc Kundera - English 437-April 8, 2007...

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English 437—April 8, 2007 Some background of Kundera (Book of Laughter and Forgetting) Checkz had been occupied by Nazis’—Summer 1942-Litiche incident…man made german protector of the Checkz, resented…two check resistance fighters parachuted into there and assassinated him. Hitler felt that Heidrick was the ideal appearing German (tall, blond, etc). He ordered total retaliation for this. In village of Litiche…All men over 16 years old were killed immediately. Women and children were sent off to concentration camps where most did not last. Wiped out the whole village. To Kundera, who had been affected/learned of this, this could explain why in his book he sees Russia as a liberator. Kundera was a cultural communist, not a political communist. Was more imaginative than the socialist/realist artists. He can be such a thought provoking criticism of communism, because he lived through it, rather than observed it. Wrote poetry in 1950’s, shifted to fiction in 1960’s—first novel published in 1967 (Describes what happens to student hero, who has girlfriend who is a predecessor of character in Book of Laughter and Forgetting) Post modernist—criticism of modernism. Many are very critical of predecessor like Proust, but not so much with Kafka. More the case in Writers that grew up in Western Europe. Not so much with Kundera. Questions about Kundera: What style does Kundera use? Innovative and experimental in new ways beyond Nabakov and Kafka… so somewhat post modernist. Titles of several chapters are the same…encourages readers to think that perhaps they are tied together and not just two separate stories. Does this book deserve to be called a novel?
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English 437 Notes.doc Kundera - English 437-April 8, 2007...

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