From Milan Kundera’s A Book of Laughter and Forgetting, the following quotations are worth musing and observing.
- 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. They are fighting for access to the laboratories where photographs are retouched and biographies and histories are rewritten.
- Love is a constant interrogation. In fact, I don’t know a better definition of love.
- It takes so little, so infinitely little, for a person to cross the border beyond which everything loses meaning: love, convictions, faith, history. Human life takes place in the immediate proximity of that border, not miles away, but a fraction of an inch away.
- It takes ridiculously little, an insignificant breeze, to make what a man would have put down his life for one minute to seem an absurd void the next.
- Human life is bounded by two chasms: fanaticism on one side, absolute skepticism on the other.
- Totalitarianism is not only hell, but also the dream of paradise, the age-old dream of a world where everybody would live in harmony, united by a single common will and faith, without secrets from one another. . . If totalitarianism did not exploit these archetypes, which are deep inside us all and rooted deep in all religions, it could never attract so many people, especially during the early phases of its existence
- What is self? It is the sum of everything we remember. Thus, what terrifies us about death is not the loss of the future, but the loss of the past. Forgetting is a form of death ever present within life. . . . When a big power wants to deprive a small country of its national consciousness, it uses the method of organized forgetting . . . A nation which loses awareness of its past gradually loses its self.