The Joke, Milan Kundera's first novel, gained him a huge following in his own country and launched his worldwide literary reputation. In his foreword Kundera explains why this completely revised translation is the definitive edition of his work.'It is impossible to do justice here to the subtleties, comedy and wisdom of this very beautiful novel. The author of The Joke is clearly one of the best to be found anywhere.' Salman Rushdie, Observer
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
All too often, this brilliant novel of thwarted love and revenge miscarried has been read for its political implications. Now, a quarter century after "The Joke" was first published and several years after the collapse of the Soviet-imposed Czechoslovak regime, it becomes easier to put such implications into perspective in favor of valuing the book (and all Kundera 's work) as what it truly is: great, stirring literature that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence.
The present edition provides English-language readers an important further means toward revaluation of "The Joke." For reasons he describes in his Author's Note, Milan Kundera devoted much time to creating (with the assistance of his American publisher-editor) a completely revised translation that reflects his original as closely as any translation possibly can: reflects it in its fidelity not only to the words and syntax but also to the characteristic dictions and tonalities of the novel's narrators. The result is nothing less than the restoration of a classic.About the Author:
The French-Czech novelist Milan Kundera was born in the Czech Republic and has lived in France since 1975. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed and bestselling novels The Joke, Life is Elsewhere, The Farewell Waltz, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Immortality, and the short-story collection Laughable Loves -- all originally in Czech. His more recent novels , Slowness, Identity, and Ignorance, as well as his nonfiction works, The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, The Curtain, and Encounter, were originally written in French.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Penguin. Paperback. Book Condition: New. UNUSED, BRAND NEW, NOT EX-LIBRARY, shows signs of shelfwear, PAPERBACK ISBN: 014006415X, 288 pages. Written and set in 1965 Prague and first published in Czechoslovakia in 1967, the novel opens with Ludvik looking back on the joke that changed his life in the early 1950s. Ludvik was a dashing, witty, and popular student. Like most of his friends he was an enthusiastic supporter of the still-fresh Communist regime in post-World War II Czechoslovakia. In a playful mood he writes a postcard to one of the girls in his class during their summer break. Since she seems, according to Ludvik, to be a bit too serious he writes on the postcard "Optimism is the opium of the people! The healthy atmosphere stinks! Long live Trotsky!" His colleagues and fellow young-party leaders did not quite see the humor in the sentiment expressed in the postcard. Ludvik finds himself expelled from the party and college and drafted to that part of the Czech military where alleged subversives form work brigades and spend the next few years working in mines. book. Bookseller Inventory # 1490