Why Milan Kundera is still relevant Advertisement

Why Milan Kundera is still relevant

The 85-year-old has a new novel out and his work is still as current today as it was in the '80s

By Deepa Menon  May 28th, 2015

His images are viral

He paints pictures you can’t get out of your head. They can do both: find the poetry in the filth (like when he compares toilets to water lilies) as well as the dread in a portrait of whimsy. “A scarf from her dress works free and floats behind her the way memories float behind the dead.” (Slowness)

His fears are widely shared

Kundera can take even quite a commonplace condition like vertigo and sharpen its terror. In The Unbearable Lightness Of Being he offers the insight that at the heart of a fear of heights is not the horror of falling, but the desire to jump.

He foresaw the age of the open letter in 1979

“Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding.” (The Book Of Laughter And Forgetting)

Milan Kundera’s The Festival of Insignificance (Harper) will be out on June 23