The Curtain by Milan Kundera
An Essay in Seven Parts

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Synopsis

In this thought-provoking, endlessly enlightening, and entertaining essay on the art of the novel, renowned author Milan Kundera suggests that "the curtain" represents a ready-made perception of the world that each of us has—a pre-interpreted world. The job of the novelist, he argues, is to rip through the curtain and reveal what it hides. Here an incomparable literary artist cleverly sketches out his personal view of the history and value of the novel in Western civilization. In doing so, he celebrates a prose form that possesses the unique ability to transcend national and language boundaries in order to reveal some previously unknown aspect of human existence.

 

About Milan Kundera

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The Franco-Czech novelist Milan Kundera was born in Brno and has lived in France, his second homeland, since 1975. He is the author of the novels The Joke, Farewell Waltz, Life Is Elsewhere, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and the short-story collection Laughable Loves—all originally written in Czech. His most recent novels Slowness, Identity, and Ignorance, as well as his nonfiction works The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, The Curtain, and Encounter, were originally written in French.
 
Published December 26, 2007 by Harper Perennial. 176 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Curtain

Kirkus Reviews

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Kundera believes that readers of literature must be readers of comparative literature: to read only those works that mirror your own culture and language is to intentionally blind yourself.

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Publishers Weekly

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It's not often that a work comes along that so perfectly distills an approach to art that it realigns the way an art form is understood. Susan Sontag's revolutionary work <EMPHASIS TYPE=IT

Nov 06 2006 | Read Full Review of The Curtain: An Essay in Seve...

The New York Times

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He is in fact rather fond of italics, giving to his words a sureness they might otherwise lack.) He speaks approvingly but only in passing of Faulkner and Hemingway, and not at all of Twain, who surely ought to reside among his Pleiades, or the Melville who wrote “The Confidence-Man,” or any othe...

Mar 04 2007 | Read Full Review of The Curtain: An Essay in Seve...

The New York Times

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He is in fact rather fond of italics, giving to his words a sureness they might otherwise lack.) He speaks approvingly but only in passing of Faulkner and Hemingway, and not at all of Twain, who surely ought to reside among his Pleiades, or the Melville who wrote “The Confidence-Man,” or any othe...

Mar 04 2007 | Read Full Review of The Curtain: An Essay in Seve...

The Guardian

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My account of The Seagull is a disagreement, but a disagreement indebted to Kundera - unthinkable without Kundera.

Mar 17 2007 | Read Full Review of The Curtain: An Essay in Seve...

The Guardian

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The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts by Milan Kundera Faber £12.99, pp256 The novel came into being with nothing but novelty to recommend it.

Mar 11 2007 | Read Full Review of The Curtain: An Essay in Seve...

Publishers Weekly

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This is a self-consciously personal vision of "the poetics of the novel," one that displays Kundera's own preoccupations, from his Central European dislike of sentimental kitsch to his exhortation that, to be counted in the history of the novel, all novelists must follow Cervantes, must "[tear] t...

Nov 06 2006 | Read Full Review of The Curtain: An Essay in Seve...

PopMatters

It’s a bearable thought, though a startling one: Forty years have passed since Czech-born Milan Kundera, the once and perhaps future most fashionable European literary writer of his generation, published his first novel, The Joke.

Mar 16 2007 | Read Full Review of The Curtain: An Essay in Seve...

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