Baker & Taylor
A collection of essays from the Franco-Czech novelist provides a defense for art during an era that he says no longer puts value on art or beauty and discusses works and artists that are important to him.
Encounter is the latest addition to the acclaimed body of literary criticism from beloved author Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting). Novelist Russell Banks writes, “Not since Henry James, perhaps, has a fiction writer examined the process of writing with such insight, authority, and range of reference and allusion.” In Encounter, Kundera brilliantly reflects on some of his signature themes and old loves (Rabelais, Fellini, Janacek, Malaparte), on literature, on morality, and on the transformation of civilization as we know it.
"Not since Henry James, perhaps, has a fiction writer examined the process of writing with such insight....Kundera's opinions, reflections, memories, and desires are well worth listening to."---Russell Banks, New York Times Book Review
"As the French expression goes, Kundera always gives you furiously to think....In an age of the increasingly ephemeral, Kundera has long championed the permanence of art and the Flaubertian ideal of making every word count."---Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World
"Wise, deep, and witty....Kundera's celebration of the novel's freedom and self-sufficiency makes essential reading in a long history of debates about the genre."---Hermione Lee, New York Review of Books
"We hear the voice of a writer haunted by fertile obsessions and a lifelong love for a handful of illustrious ancestors....Kundera lets us witness the inner workings of his mind---a wonderful reader's mind."---San Francisco Chronicle
"A work of sophisticated literary cartography. Mr. Kundera writes out of love for his chosen form....A novelist talks about the novel after a lifetime of contemplating its wonders....The Curtain is studded with insights that may have been overlooked even by veteran readers of the novel."---Joseph Epstein, Wall Street Journal
A Brilliant New contribution to Kundera's ongoing reflections on art and artists, written with unparalleled Insight, Authority, and Range of Reference and Allusion
Milan Kundera's new collection of essays is a passionate defense of art in an era that, he argues, no longer values art or beauty. With the same dazzling mix of emotion and idea that characterizes his novels, Kundera revisits the artists who remain important to him and whose works help us better understand the world we live in and what it means to be human. An astute reader of fiction, Kundera brings his extraordinary critical gifts to bear on the paintings of Francis Bacon, the music of Leos Janacek, and the films of Federico Fellini, as well as the novels of Philip Roth, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, among others. He also takes up the challenge of restoring to its rightful place the work of Anatole France and Curzio Malaparte, major writers who have fallen into obscurity.
Milan Eundera's signature themes of memory and forgetting, the experience of exile, and the championing of modernist art are here, along with more personal reflections and stories. Encounter is a work of great humanism. Art is what we possess in the face of evil and the darker side of human nature. Elegant, startlingly original, and provocative, Encounter follows in the footsteps of Kundera's earlier essay collections, The Art of the Nove, Testaments Betrayed, and The Curtain.
This collection of essays from the Franco-Czech novelist provides a defense for art during an era that he says no longer puts value on art or beauty and discusses works and artists that are important to him. 25,000 first printing.