Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The unbearable lightness of being

Milan Kundera is one of my favourite authors. I think I have read almost anything he has ever written.
Set in 1968 Prague, the novel deals heavily with philosophical concepts. The novel depicts life for artists and intellectuals in Czechoslovakia after the USSR invaded the country following the Prague Spring. The story's main character is Tomáš, a famous surgeon, who criticizes the Czech Communists and as a result loses his position. Other important characters are his wife, Teresa (a photographer), his lover Sabina (a painter), and Sabina's lover Franz (a university professor).
"Being" is full of "unbearable lightness" because each of us have only one life to live: "Einmal ist keinmal" ("once is never", i.e., "what happened once might as well have never happened at all"). Therefore, each life is ultimately insignificant; every decision ultimately does not matter. Since decisions do not matter, they are "light": they do not tie us down. But at the same time, insignificance of our decisions - our lives, or being - is unbearable. Hence, "the unbearable lightness of being."

I'm dreaming of winning the lottery sometimes. And who doesn't? Isn't it thrilling to spend (or save) the money in your mind? Bearable lightness of being? Money has two main advantages for me:

1.) It allows you to say no
2.) You can trade it with time (at least on a certain scale)

ad 1.) I could say no to my boss. Leave the company and change to parental leave or early retirement, work part time, honorary or whatsoever
ad 2.) You can outsorce all activities you don't like, e.g. ironing shirts, cleaning the apartment, buying food etc.

Altogether a charming imagination. I don't know if this happiness would last long but I'm not the kind of person who gets bored easily. There a many things I like to do, laziness included.
Cuando la loteria va a tocar a me? Dios?


Blogger pillepalle said...

I wish the loteria touched me too!!! I agree with you, I love this novel as well. I remember the dog, Anna Karenina, and that it was fashionable to leave the light on when you made love! Of course, these are just the minor details.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Jayred said...

I like to 'outsource' washing and ironing clothes -- like what I have to do now!

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm...i thought i had glimpsed a philosophical and practical side of you on this one. Interesting.


5:57 AM  

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