In one of the finer modern ironies of the life-imitates-art sort, the country that Kundera seemed to be writing about when he talked about Czechoslovakia is, thanks to the latest political redefinitions, no longer precisely there. This kind of disappearance and reappearance is, partly, what Kundera explores in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
. In this polymorphous work -- now a novel, now autobiography, now a philosophical treatise -- Kundera discusses life, music, sex, philosophy, literature and politics in ways that are rarely politically correct, never classifiable but always original, entertaining and definitely brilliant.
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"The Book of Laughter and Forgetting calls itself a novel, although it is part fairy tale, part literary criticism, part political tract, part musicology, and part autobiography. It can call itself whatever it wants to, because the whole is genius." -- John Leonard, New York Times
"An absolutely dazzling entertainment....Arousing on every levelpolitical, erotic, intellectual, and above all, humorous." -- Newsweek
"Deeply and impressively subversive, in more ways than one....Kundera's condemnation of modern life is broad, but his sympathy for those who create and suffer it is deep." -- Paul Gray, Time
"This book, as it bluntly calls itself, is brilliant and origin, written with the purity and wit that invite us directly in. " -- John Updike, New York Times Book Review