Identity

Identity

Book - 1998
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Milan Kundera's Identity  translated from the French by Linda Asher.

There are situations in which we fail for a moment to recognize the person we are with, in which the identity of the other is erased while we simultaneously doubt our own. That also happens with couples -- indeed, above all with couples, because lovers fear more than anything else "losing sight" of the loved one.

With stunning artfulness in expanding and playing variations on the meaningful moment, Milan Kundera has made this situation -- and the vague sense of panic it inspires -- the very fabric of his new novel. Here brevity goes hand in hand with intensity, and a moment of bewilderment marks the start of a labyrinthine journey during which the reader repeatedly crosses the border between the real and the unreal, between what occurs in the world outside and what the mind creates in its solitude.

Of all contemporary writers, only Kundera can transform such a hidden and disconcerting perception into the material for a novel, one of his finest, most painful, and most enlightening. Which, surprisingly, turns out to be a love story.

Publisher: New York : HarperFlamingo, 1998.
ISBN: 9780060175641
0060175648
Branch Call Number: F KUN
Characteristics: 168 p.

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sgolux
Aug 28, 2018

I love Kundera's voice, and the spareness of the prose. Translation is also very good.

The book starts slow, which is OK, with lots of ideas and not much plot or character development. It finally gets really great about half-way through, but the ending disappoints. It would be a spoiler to say exactly how, but I feel Kundera goes for a cop-out ending that is way below his skill as a writer and story-teller. Kind of sad.

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valenciayun
Feb 09, 2018

A really hard book. I felt like I was missing something throughout the whole book. Maybe it's the style of writing that I don't understand. The words are easy but there's just something about it that makes me question myself if I'm actually understanding this book.

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