Saturday, February 11, 2012
Books We Love Blogfest
As you can see, today is the Books We Love Blogfest which is being hosted by Rebecca Kiel.
All we have to do is talk about one book we love and why. I'm going to go back, way back and choose Milan Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Before we go any further, yes, this was made into a movie and no, I did not like the movie at all. Not even a little bit. The problem in this particular situation is that like all of Kundera's work, Unbearable Lightness has a very existential bent that simply does not translate to film. I don't care what anyone says. It just doesn't.
I had to read this book for a college class when I was 18 or 19 and this book was my constant companion for about 10 years. I have read it so many times, I've lost count although it's probably been about 7 years or so since I last read it. First, what's it about?
Basically it's about four people living in communist Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s and early 1970s: Tomas, a womanizing surgeon; his wife Teresa, a wallflower and photographer, Sabina, one of Tomas' mistresses and Franz, one of Sabina's lovers. It's mostly about their relationships--with one another, with other people and with their changing society.
Why do I love this book? Because it's not only a meditation on relationships but a meditation on life itself and what it means to be human. Like all great books, it asks more questions than it answers.
There are many wonderful quotes from this book but this is one of my favorites:
" . . . for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one's own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.”
You can check it out on Amazon here. Or Barnes & Noble here. It's not for everyone but it's a book that has had a profound affect on my life so I had to highlight it for Books We Love!