Laughable Loves

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Laughable Loves
Laughable loves kundera book cover.jpg
First English edition (US)
Author Milan Kundera
Original title Směšné lásky
Translator Suzanne Rappaport
Genre Short story
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf (US)
Publication date
1969
Published in English
1974
Media type Print (hardback and paperback)

Laughable Loves (Czech: Směšné lásky) is a collection of seven short stories written by Milan Kundera in which he presents his characteristic savage humour[peacock term] by mixing the extremes of tragedy with comic situations in (mostly romantic) relationships.

Stories[edit]

The titles of the short stories are:
"Nobody Will Laugh"
"The Golden Apple of Eternal Desire"
"The Hitchhiking Game"
"Symposium"
"Let the Old Dead Make Room for the Young Dead"
"Dr. Havel After Twenty Years"
"Eduard and God"

  • One story revolved around a young professor who loves to play mind-games with people he deems inferior. After putting off reviewing the work of an aspiring (and hopeless) scholar, he loses the young woman he was involved with, directly after realizing he loved her.
  • There is also the story of a couple who play a role-playing game which initially excites them but then later scares one and repulses the other.
  • 'Let the Old Dead make way for The Young Dead' is about a woman who visits her husband's grave in a cemetery only to find out that it has been removed in the favor of another grave that of a man who had died 'more recently.' This impacts upon her life as a person and is a major factor when she goes to visit a former lover.
  • Two stories include the character Dr. Havel, the first of which is set in the hospital with several other doctors and a nurse. Dr. Havel is known for his multitudes of sexual exploits, and the nurse is interested in him, but he rejects her. The second story takes place ten years later, when Dr. Havel feels less powerful and attractive, yet is reminded of his attractiveness by his young, beautiful wife.
  • 'The Golden Apple of Eternal Desire' is the story of two middle-age men who flirt with many girls and proposition them. One of the men is married to a woman he loves, and the other would rather read a book.
  • The final story is "Eduard and God", where a young man called Eduard has a religious girlfriend but he personally has to stay away from religion because of his job in a school. It makes for difficult times for him when he is seen with his girlfriend at a church.