The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts
Milan Kundera, , trans. from the French by Linda Asher. . HarperCollins, $22.95 (168pp) ISBN 978-0-06-084186-7
It's not often that a work comes along that so perfectly distills an approach to art that it realigns the way an art form is understood. Susan Sontag's revolutionary work
The renowned Franco-Czech author (
This is a self-consciously personal vision of "the poetics of the novel," one that displays Kundera's own preoccupations, from his Central European dislike of sentimental kitsch to his exhortation that, to be counted in the history of the novel, all novelists must follow Cervantes, must "[tear] the curtain of preinterpretation" into which we are all born. Only then can the novel accomplish its purpose: to show its readers their own lives.
Reviewed on: 11/06/2006