First English edition
(publ. Grove Weidenfeld)
Published in English
Immortality (Czech: Nesmrtelnost) is a novel in seven parts, written by Milan Kundera in 1988 in Czech. First published 1990 in French. English edition 345 p., translation by Peter Kussi. This novel springs from a casual gesture of a woman, seemingly to her swimming instructor. Immortality is the last of a trilogy that includes The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, and The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Divided into seven parts, Immortality centers on Agnes, her husband Paul and her sister Laura. Part One: the Face establishes these characters. Part Two: Immortality depicts Goethe's fraught relationship with Bettina, a young woman who aspires to create a place for herself in the pantheon of history by controlling Goethe's legacy after his death. Part Three: Agnes and Laura fight, while focusing on the deteriorating state of Laura's relationship with Bernard Bertrand. Part Four: Homo Sentimentalis chronicles Goethe's afterlife and postmortem friendship with Ernest Hemingway. Part Five: Chance sees Agnes' death, and intersects these fictional events with Kundera's seemingly autobiographical account of a conversation with Professor Avenarius. Part Six: the Dial introduces a new character, Rubens, who had an affair with Agnes years prior to the onset of the main events in the plot. Part Seven: the Celebration concludes the novel in the same health club where Kundera first observed the inspirational wave gesture.
- "Novel Re-examined In a Novel by Kundera". Retrieved 2010-01-09.