The Joke (Paperback)

The Joke By Milan Kundera Cover Image
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Description


"A thoughtful, intricate, ambivalent novel with the reach of greatness in it." —John Updike

"It is impossible to do justice here to the subtleties, comedy, and wisdom of this very beautiful novel. Milan Kundera is an artist, clearly one of the best to be found anywhere, who says that the good (and evil) that issues from men's souls matters much more than the deeds of a State. And he says it with passion, with good humor, and with love." —Salman Rushdie

All too often, this brilliant novel of thwarted love and revenge miscarried has been read for its political implications. Now, more than 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 Milan Kundera 's work) as what it truly is: great, stirring literature that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence.

This 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 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 Franco-Czech novelist Milan Kundera (1929 - 2023) was born in Brno and lived in France, his second homeland, since 1975. He is the author of the novels The Joke, Life Is Elsewhere, Farewell Waltz, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and the short story collection Laughable Loves—all originally in Czech. His later novels, Slowness, Identity, Ignorance, and The Festival of Insignificance, as well as his nonfiction works, The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, The Curtain, and Encounter, were originally written in French.

Praise For…


"A thoughtful, intricate, ambivalent novel with the reach of greatness in it." — John Updike

"It is impossible to do justice here to the subtleties, comedy, and wisdom of this very beautiful novel. Milan Kundera is an artist, clearly one of the best to be found anywhere, who says that the good (and evil) that issues from men's souls matters much more than the deeds of a State. And he says it with passion, with good humor, and with love." — Salman Rushdie



Product Details
ISBN: 9780060995058
ISBN-10: 006099505X
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: January 1st, 1994
Pages: 336
Language: English