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Famous Milan Kundera Quotations

Best famous Milan Kundera quotations. Find, read, and share the best famous quotations by Milan Kundera. These are the most popular quotations and best examples of quotes by Milan Kundera.

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Quote Left A route differs from a road not only because it is solely intended for vehicles, but also because it is merely a line that connects one point with another. A route has no meaning in itself; its meaning derives entirely from the two points that it connects. A road is a tribute to space. Every stretch of road has meaning in itself and invites us to stop. A route is the triumphant devaluation of space, which thanks to it has been reduced to a mere obstacle to human movement and a waste of time. Quote Right
Quote Left High culture is nothing but a child of that European perversion called history, the obsession we have with going forward, with considering the sequence of generations a relay race in which everyone surpasses his predecessor, only to be surpassed by his successor. Without this relay race called history there would be no European art and what characterizes it: a longing for originality, a longing for change. Robespierre, Napoleon, Beethoven, Stalin, Picasso, they're all runners in the relay race, they all belong to the same stadium. Quote Right
Quote Left The word change, so dear to our Europe, has been given a new meaning: it no longer means a new stage of coherent development (as it was understood by Vico, Hegel or Marx), but a shift from one side to another, from front to back, from the back to the left, from the left to the front (as understood by designers dreaming up the fashion for the next season). Quote Right
Quote Left Tomas did not realize at the time that metaphors are dangerous. Metaphors are not to be trifled with. A single metaphor can give birth to love. Quote Right
Quote Left We must never allow the future to be weighed down by memory. For children have no past, and that is the whole secret of the magical innocence of their smiles. Quote Right
Quote Left We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always a sketch. No sketch is not quite the right word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch of nothing, an outline with no picture. Quote Right
Quote Left A wave of anger washed over me, anger against myself, at my age at the time, that stupid lyrically age, when a man is too great a riddle to himself to be interested in the riddles outside himself and when other people are mere walking mirrors in which he is amazed to find his own emotions, his own worth. Quote Right
Quote Left To laugh is to live profoundly. Quote Right
Quote Left The stupidity of people comes from having an answer to everything. The wisdom of the novel comes from having a question for everything... it seems to me that all over the world people nowadays prefer to judge rather than to understand, to answer rather than to ask, so that the voice of the novel can hardly be heard over the noisy foolishness of human certainties. Quote Right
Quote Left Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo Fear of falling No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves. Quote Right
Quote Left Mysticism and exaggeration go together. A mystic must not fear ridicule if he is to push all the way to the limits of humility or the limits of delight. Quote Right
Quote Left We don't know when our name came into being or how some distant ancestor acquired it. We don't understand our name at all, we don't know its history and yet we bear it with exalted fidelity, we merge with it, we like it, we are ridiculously proud of it as if we had thought it up ourselves in a moment of brilliant inspiration. Quote Right
Quote Left True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. Quote Right
Quote Left All great novels, all true novels, are bisexual. Quote Right
Quote Left When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object. Quote Right
Quote Left The light that radiates from the great novels time can never dim, for human existence is perpetually being forgotten by man and thus the novelists discoveries, however old they may be, will never cease to astonish. Quote Right
Quote Left The reign of imagagology begins where history ends. Quote Right
Quote Left People are always shouting they want to create a better future. It's not true. The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it. The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past. Quote Right
Quote Left No great movement designed to change the world can bear to be laughed at or belittled. Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches. Quote Right
Quote Left A novel that does not uncover a hitherto unknown segment of existence is immoral. Knowledge is the novel's only morality. Quote Right
Quote Left Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. Quote Right
Quote Left Nudity is the uniform of the other side... nudity is a shroud. Quote Right
Quote Left A worker may be the hammer's master, but the hammer still prevails. A tool knows exactly how it is meant to be handled, while the user of the tool can only have an approximate idea. Quote Right
Quote Left The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. Quote Right
Quote Left Eroticism is like a dance: one always leads the other. Quote Right
Quote Left Laughing deeply is living deeply. Quote Right
Quote Left What is vertigo? Fear of falling? Then why do we feel it even when the observation tower comes equipped with a sturdy handrail? No, vertigo is something other than the fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves. Quote Right
Quote Left The word change, so dear to our Europe, has been given a new meaning: it no longer means a new stage of coherent development (as it was unders... Quote Right