A Brief Review of Encounter, by Milan Kundera

Posted by Brian PCF
Nov 11 2011

EncounterEncounter by Milan Kundera
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful followup to “The Curtain”. Rich in it’s examination of the novel, but also moves into painting, music, and poetry.

Mainly a defense of writing as art, especially with the examination of Malaparte and contrasting his work to Sartre’s quote: “Prose is in essence utilitarian…the writer is a speaker: he designates, demonstrates, orders, rejects, questions, entreats, insults, persuades, insinuates.”

Both in Malaparte’s excerpts and Kundera’s explanations, we find that writing can move far beyond utilitarian, in his last paragraph:

The war’s closing moments bring out a truth that is both fundamental and banal, both eternal and disregarded: compared to the living, the dead have an overwhelming numerical superiority, not just the dead of this war’s end but all the dead of all times, the dead of the past, the dead of the future; confident in their superiority, they mock us, they mock this little island of time we line in, this tiny time of the new Europe, they force us to grasp all its insignificance, all it’s transience…

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