New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c1995.
LibraryThing member jwhenderson
Kundera begins with a riff on Rabelais and leads us on a wild tour of European literature from Cervantes to Gombrowicz, with special attention to authors that I love including Musil and Broch. I found this plus his continual focus on the ideas of literature attractive enough; but he essays music as well. There is a wonderful chapter on Janacek and thought-provoking discussion of Stravinsky's place in European music. And with this embedded references to literature, great literature, and his own work, most of which I've yet to read. And did I mention his exceptional essay on Kafka. This is a relatively short book, but one of great depth and breadth. It is simultaneously brilliant music criticism, elegant literary criticism, commentary on the art of writing and translation, and a guide to the great literature of modern Europe. With this book, a loaf of bread and some wine (along with dozens of other texts) one could while away a year or two.
LibraryThing member rickstill122
Yes, with this book and Kundera's other essay collections "The Curtain" and "The Art of the Novel", one could absorb a knowledge of world literature- what it is, where it came from, where it is going- worthy of two years of University lectures. I would add some coffee to the other reviewer's grocery list. And some cigars. Peppery ones.