notice_evrytree’s #CBR4 Review #10: The Book of Laughter & Forgetting by Milan Kundera
I know I’m not going to make a lot of friends by saying this, but I was not a huge fan of this book.
Ok, yes I get it. I get why people love this. It’s the type of book that you feel like you “get” or “gets you” or whatever. But it lacked the honesty that I really crave when I make the time investment to read something. And I feel that way about most postmodern literature. It is too preoccupied with what “is” that it only means one thing, and if you don’t “get” that one thing, it makes it almost impossible to enjoy.
Like, ok, I get that in Kundera’s universe, there is no inherent meaning. We are bound by our physical states, so the only real discoveries we can make are of the body. Sexual. Humor. What have you. I think, fundamentally, as a Christian, I just don’t buy this. But moreover, as someone who has read a lot of fiction and a good amount of postmodern literature, Kundera’s idea reads like any other postmodern author’s. It’s a different iteration of the same idea. People read this because they’re looking for the thing they already “get.” I get that, too.
It’s funny because I’m reading Salvage the Bones next, and 70 pages in, Jesmyn Ward’s vision is broad and original and funny and emotional. I can’t wait to finish something that feels real.
Also, I just noticed how many comma’s I used in this post. I wonder how many were used correctly.