This was my choice for September in my Facebook Reading Challenge, the theme of which was a novel by an Eastern European writer. The Unbearable Lightness of Being is considered a classic in that particular category; it was first published in , in French translation, and not in the original Czech until , but outside the then Soviet controlled Czechoslovakia. Despite his genuine love for Tereza, he is serially unfaithful. After he is relieved of his post as a surgeon, after getting into difficulties with the government about a critical letter he wrote that was published in a newspaper, he is employed as a window-cleaner, and seems to spend his work days having sex with his clients. Tereza is aware of his infidelities, but tolerates them, for reasons that are not quite apparent — yes, she loves him, but it seems mainly to be fear and vulnerability that keep her with him.
What's the relevance of the sex scenes in The Unbearable Lightness of Being : AskLiteraryStudies
Milan Kundera First published in in both Paris and New York , Milan Kundera 's The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a rich and complicated novel that is at once a love story, a metaphysical treatise, a political commentary, a psychological study, a lesson on kitsch, a musical composition in words, an aesthetic exploration, and a meditation on human existence. As an expatriate Czechoslovakian writer, Kundera draws upon his firsthand experience of the Prague Spring and subsequent Soviet occupation of his country to provide the backdrop for the story of four people whose lives are inextricably enmeshed. Because the work is so complex, there are many themes that intertwine throughout the novel, just as a theme in a musical composition will be introduced only to reappear later in a different key.
In the work was released in the original Czech, but it was banned in Czechoslovakia until Through the lives of four individuals, the novel explores the philosophical themes of lightness and weight. The story is set against the background of the Prague Spring of June , the Soviet invasion of the country that followed in August , and the aftermath of the crackdown on liberalization. This conflicting set of views raises the question of which is correct, and against this backdrop the story begins.