Talk:The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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I have not finished the book, but it seems that so far as I've read, Kundera uses "lightness" to humorous/absurd effect and praises "heaviness." Shouldn't the article reflect this?--Streetslight 08:27, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

  • I think Kundera is more nuanced than merely preferring heaviness. But the article isn't very good as is - be free to change it as you see fit. Zafiroblue05 06:56, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

I thought it was good. The novel, as I recall, discussed the lightness and heaviness of relationships at length. If you're in a relationship it's very heavy and if you're free it's light but unbearable. I recall the whimsy of his inexplicable decision to renounce his womaninizing as being another big element in the story. Nicely done though, good explanations here. --Megaforcemedia (talk) 05:09, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I believe Kundera takes "lightness" to mean the absence of any attachment to people, or to any responsibilities to them. "Heaviness" is then the presence of attachment to people, or of responsibility. Nowhere does he say that eternal return is 'heaviness'. It's just an idea he finds absurd, because (as he says) you can't deny the Holocaust happened even if it happened only once. This concept of eternal return presupposes that things have weight only when they recur, which is Parmenidean (according to Kundera) and indicative of a preference for LIGHTNESS rather than for HEAVINESS, which is erroneous according to him. (talk) 12:42, 12 June 2009 (UTC)


The current philosophic underpinning section suggest that Nietzsche's view of the eternal return was that it would literally happen. This misses the point entirely and thus prevents a very interesting reading of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Eternal return in Nietzsche is a thought experiment; Nietzsche tells us to imagine that a demon came to us, telling us we would have to relive our lives exactly as we had lived them for all eternity. Nietzsche basically said that the essence of being human lies in not only not being bothered by this, but loving it, to greet the demon as a god instead. He links this to the notion of amor fati (love of fate) which he likens to the essence of what it means to be human. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:44, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Cultural references[edit]

Who gives a damn about cultural references? This is miscellany, and is discouraged in the Wikipedia guidelines. Ill delete it in 48 hours, unless alternate justification can be provided. Here's a fine example of how trivial this section is: In an episode of The Colbert Report (December 11, 2008) "The Word" segment is titled "The Unbearable Lightness of Supreme Being". This is NOT useful, relevant, or encyclopedic information.


This novel was written in French and only just published in Czech. This should be considered a piece of French literature

This novel was NOT written in French, but Kundera didn't allow the publication of the Czech edition earlier than 2006. He started writing in French in the Nineties.

It says right in my copy that the novel was written in Czech and published in 1984. With some digging I found an article that confirms this and says it was first officially published in French. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:25, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

this is supposedly an "important" novel and yet it lacks suitable punctuation? what gives? a considerable lapse in oversight. this article is a disgrace.

The spelling of "Tomas/Thomas" is inconsistant in this artical. I have not read the book, but could it be fixed accordingly?

if its french or czech... why are quotes from the book in german?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:55, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

becuase they are qoutes from german ( beethovan if I recall correctly).

Most educated Europeans speak several languages. Much of the novel also takes place in Switzerland where people speak French, German, Italian, and Rumantsch depending upon where you are. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Death of Tomas and Tereza[edit]

"Although it is never depicted in the novel, Simon later informs Sabina that Tomas died in a car crash with Tereza." If it is not in the novel, how do we know it happened? Do the characters appear in other novels? This should be explained. Boris B 05:22, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I suppose you could say Simon made it up but the last few chapters heavily foreshadow the crash which would occur shortly after the narration ends. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Death of Tomas and Tereza[edit]

Hi all, I think it's TOMAS, not Thomas, according to the book i have here

Death of Tomas and Tereza (died in a car crash) was written in the Novel.

It was not depicted in details, but in a mail sent by Simon, there some short sentences tell about the accident and their death. Eva8404 18:23, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one article was rated and this bot brought all the other ratings up to at least that level. BetacommandBot 08:15, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as stub, and the rating on other projects was brought up to Stub class. BetacommandBot 04:30, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

number of pages in the book?[edit]

my favorite book ever, and this page seems horribly wrong. This might be the page that motivates me to finally contribute to wikipedia. See here for a thousand-times better description —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:42, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

ok...i've just got to the end of my copy of the book...but it didn't really seemed like it finished! i have 305 pages in my book and then quite a few blank pages...

the last lines (in my copy) read "Up out of the lampshade, startled by the overhead light, flew a large nocturnal butterfly that began circling the room. The strains of the piano and violin rose up weakly from below."

is this how the book ends or do i have an incomplete copy?! please help!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:01, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

A little Avant-Garde perhaps, but yes, that's how the novel ends. The butterfly and rising music are likely references to "lightness". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:17, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

oooh ok...thank you...kinda wish it ended better...but i guess it fits the book —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:35, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Karenin's gender[edit]

It says in the section about the dog Karenin that it is female, and then uses 'he' repeatedly to refer to it. Should this be changed? (I haven't read the book btw, just passing through) Josie164 (talk) 02:08, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Karenin is a female dog, but is referred to as "he" throughout the book. Near the end on page 296, Kundera discusses menstruation of humans and animals and writes "Karenin, who was after all female, had his periods too." It is a repeated throughout the book that Karenin is identified as a "he" but is still female. Kundera could be doing this to reference gender questioning or to say that Karenin acts more male than female, but was still born a female. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Original title[edit]

In the info box it says that the original title was "Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí". As far as I know, the book was written in Czech, so the original title is in Czech. But the first published version was in French and went by the title "L'Insoutenable Légèreté de l'être". The Czech version was published much later in Canada. Should that not be accounted for somehow in the info box? -- (talk) 06:19, 13 March 2012 (UTC)