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The Art of the Novel

The Art of the Novel

Written by Milan Kundera

Narrated by Graeme Malcolm


The Art of the Novel

Written by Milan Kundera

Narrated by Graeme Malcolm

ratings:
4.5/5 (36 ratings)
Length:
4 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Sep 25, 2012
ISBN:
9780062215611
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Kundera brilliantly examines the work of such important and diverse figures as Rabelais, Cervantes, Sterne, Diderot, Flaubert, Tolstoy, and Musil. He is especially penetrating on Hermann Broch, and his exploration of the world of Kafka's novels vividly reveals the comic terror of Kafka's bureaucratized universe.

Kundera's discussion of his own work includes his views on the role of historical events in fiction, the meaning of action, and the creation of character in the post-psychological novel.

Publisher:
Released:
Sep 25, 2012
ISBN:
9780062215611
Format:
Audiobook

About the author



Reviews

What people think about The Art of the Novel

4.4
36 ratings / 11 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    What a wonderful day it has been. Cool and sunny, the weather welcomes with only a slim wink of menace behind such. I awoke early and after watching City i went and joined some friends for smoked wheat beer and colorful conversations about public vomiting and the peasant revolts during the Reformation. Oh and there was a parade. I didn't pay much attention to that.

    Returning home I watched Arsenal's triumph and enjoyed the weather and picked up this witty distillation. Zadie Smith's Changing My Mind had engendered this recent interest in essays, especially those concerning the history of the novel. I bought the volume in Camden when we went to London in 2004. I truly bought it for my wife but it certainly fit my own present situation. Kundera weaves together an intriguing portrait of modernity. He also sidesteps the English literary tradition aside from a handful of nods to Fielding and Sterne. Such is fine.

    Thinking about my own influences, I remain intrigued that Nietzsche remains so fixed and central and Kafka has slinked to the dark margins. Perhaps Hrabal (that usurper) took his place in my murky mindpool.
  • (4/5)
    This is a great book for anyone working to be a serious novelist. I like Kundera's approach though because he lets you know why it's important to be serious about writing. He knows from experience that everything you work for can be taken away in a moment.
  • (4/5)
    Highly intellectual book on history philosophy culture using modern novel
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Excellent reading and quality. I think Kundera himself would be proud of this.
    The book itself is one of the finest on this topic. Kundera is original and his gaze reveals dazling insights.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This is a compendium of seven pieces that Kundera states "were written, published, or spoken before an audience between 1979 and 1985." "The sole raison d'ètre of a novel," he quotes Hermann Broch, "is to discover what only the novel can discover." Just having completed the first draft of my first completed novel (my drawers are lined with half-finished attempts), I eagerly read in anticipation of discovering the rules of writing The Great Novel. Not surprisingly, the rules are vague and sketchy. One of Kundera's favorite rule-breaking devices is something I am fond of—the rabbit trail, a blatant detour from the action of the story so that the author can indulge an itch to explore some political or psychological or spiritual thought that came to mind while a character is brushing his teeth or walking to work or making love. Kundera does not just discuss his own work and what motivates him, but delves also into comparative literature commentary. He looks at Cervantes, Flaubert, Rabelais, Sterne, and Diderot, among others. Kundera's mini course in the history and structure of the novel is engrossing, illuminating and thought-provoking—worth reading a few more times. (March 2009)

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Interesting, stimulating, and dogmatic -(as most critics seem driven to superlatives and ultimata) - this book is worth a go if you are into world literature, as you will surely meet with a different take on "What is European?" and "What is a novel?" Taken with a dash of salt and mined for its many insightful comments, this is a valuable addition to (not a substitute for) other studies in critical commentary. The Narrator does a good job of handling a difficult text.

    1 person found this helpful