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Encounter: Essays Paperback – October 4, 2011
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“I can’t imagine reading this book without being challenged and instructed, amused, amazed and aroused, and ultimately delighted.” (John Simon, New York Times Book Review)
“A commanding, compelling collection…Kundera’s essays express enduring aesthetic loyalties and provide unexpected aesthetic sparks that remind readers of a fuller range of authentic thought and feeling.” (Michael S. Roth, Los Angeles Times)
“Compelling essays.” (Boston Sunday Globe)
“Deeply personal and warmly inviting…Encounter serves as a call to arms for a culture on the verge of losing its artistic credibility.” (Time Out New York)
“A remarkable collection that showcases the author’s diverse interests and sparkling talent…Kundera looks at the way exile and estrangement impact upon art and creation.” (New York Journal of Books)
Top Customer Reviews
That having been said, there are a great many things of particular interest in this book. In his first substantial essay - the one on Bacon - he states a distinct paradox that all artists confront in the pursuit of their craft (see below for the extent to which one of the main concerns of this text is paradox): how does one capture the essence of a human (in this case, the work in question is Bacon's triptych of Henrietta Moraes) whose very essence is accidental? Kundera's answer is that Bacon distorts and contorts the images of people to see to what someone can have this done to them, but still maintain their identity; Kundera calls this Bacon's "brutal gesture.Read more ›
This book, which in truth is a collections of stories and thoughts by Kundera, reminds me most of "The Book of Laughter and Forgetting" which he wrote in 1979 and which tells ofCzech citizens opposing the Communist regime in various ways. In "Encounter" he spends a lot of time talking about his opnions of art and artists includign Fellini and Schoenberg as well as Francis Bacon. I was pleasantly surprised to also read a short piece on one of my favorite novelists Philip Roth. Finally, he spends a great deal of time on the Carribean island of Martinique--a place of beauty and interest--and makes it come alive to the reader. A good collection of thoughts that helps you get a bit into the mind of Milan Kundera and I highly recommend it.
born in czechoslovakia, as a writer kundera experienced his country invaded by the soviets in 1968, a shock to the western world who watched the advent of some of the new art scene in 1964 at the world’s fair in new york at the czechoslovakian pavilion. a published novelist, kundera settled in exile in france in 1975 where he continues to write. he purports to be a french writer writing of czech experiences. the thought central to his essays is the encounter of two cultures to form an identity or solidarity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful followup to "The Curtain". Rich in it's examination of the novel, but also moves into painting, music, and poetry. Read morePublished on November 11, 2011 by B. Wilson
Like most of Kundera's books of essays there is a mixture of humility and chattiness that are both a strength and weakness of the book. Read morePublished on August 21, 2011 by MV
I love Kundera's fiction, but did not realize this book is more of an art analysis so I was dissapointed.Published on July 12, 2011 by Elissa B. Goldman
Much of what I read is obscure, so the parts of this book that are unfamiliar to most readers strike me as being clearer than the usual studies of irony. Read morePublished on December 17, 2010 by as baby Babylons do SKITS