Monday February 17, 2020

An intriguing footnote to undera’s unquenchable lightness of being

fiction: The Festival of Insignificance. By Milan Kundera. Faber & Faber, €20.

22nd July, 2015
Milan Kundera: provocative ideas presented in comic set-pieces. Picture: Catherine Helie

Milan Kundera’s first novel in more than a decade begins with an extended bout of navel-gazing. A man called Alain walks through the streets of Paris, noting that every young woman he sees has her belly-button on display. This prompts him to ask the thorny question: “How to define the eroticism of a man (or an era) that sees female seductiveness as centred in the middle of the body?”

After 115...

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