Hello, all. I’m still thinking about the Kundera, but instead of going deeper into one or another well of knowledge, as I promised I would try to do (and I’d have to say I did try), I’ve been stuck on a few questions that I hope some others among you might just be interested enough in to start chatting about here and now. But if not, at least when we meet, I hope. Here goes:
1. What’s the relationship between this narrator who occasionally pops up and the novel as a whole, and how does that narrator relate to Kundera himself. Every time I felt a strong narrative presence, half of me felt that this was so rare and fleeting a feeling that it would vanish from mind in the long run; the other half felt like this was a justifiable big deal that would be promiment enough again later (and maybe even enough to claim “again and again”). But I ended up sort of in between with a few moments stuck in my mind with no sense of what they revealed to me. Anyone else?
2. Dead characters. Of the four major figures in the book, only Sabina is living at the end. That means 3 of 4 deceased–one of four, even a nice even two of four would seem to make more sense. Why three? And why did Kundera choose Sabina as his sole surving figure?
3. “Karenin’s Smile”–you name it on the death of the dog. Then there’s Karenin in general. Why is Tomas and Tereza’s female dog named after a male character in a Tolstoy novel (a novel that happens to be tied with Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying for the Honor of being my favorite novel, so, yeah, maybe the answer is that I have to tackle this one since I think Anna Karenina has been dubbed mostly my thing around here, but, hey, it doesn’t have to be).
So if I do put my head to finding some semi-satisfactory or better answer to these questions, are any of these what folks would like to hear a response to? Or better yet, anyone have a response before I start looking for the right angles from which to take my shots?
Oh, on the subject of questions–did you all know that if you want to submit potential questions for discussion at one of our meetings, Rachel will take them and see whether they might merit space on the list? I’ve been sending mine for the past few months now.