The Unbearable Lightness of Being

You definitely need to read this book. It’s brilliant.  Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Indeed, the ony truly serious questions are the ones that even a child can formulate. Only the most naive of questions are truly serious. They are the questions qith no answers. A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limits of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.”

“She thought about that [tomb] stone all day. Why had it horrified her so?
She answered herself: When graves are covered with stones, the dead can no longer get out.
But the dead can’t get out anyway! What difference does it make whether they’re covered with soil or stones?
The difference is that if a grave is covered with a stone it means we don’t want the deceased to come back. The heavy stone tells the deceased, ‘Stay where you are.'”

“‘Why don’t you ever use your strength on me?’ she said.
‘Because love means renouncing strength.'”

“One day, he paid a visit to his wife. He told her he would like to remarry.
Marie-Claude shook her head.
‘But a divorece won’t make any difference to you! You wouldn’t lose a tihng! I’ll give you all the property!’
‘I don’t care about property,’ she said.
‘Then what do you care about?’
‘Love,’ she said with a smile. ‘Love is a battle,’ said Marie-Claude, still smiling. ‘And I plan to go on fighting. To the end.’
‘Love is a battle?’ said Franz. ‘Well, I don’t feel at all like fighting.’   And he left.”

“Because everything (day-to-day existence, peers’ opinions, promotions at work, vacations) depends on the outcome of the assessment process, everyone (whether he wants to play soccer for the national team, have an exhibition, or spend his holidays at the seaside) must behave in such a way as to deserve a favorable assessment.”

“But if we betray B, for whom we betrayed A, it does not necessarily follow that we have placated A.”

“But, he said to himself, whether they knew or didn’t know is not the issue; the main issue is whether a man is innocent because he didn’t know. Is a fool on the throne relieved of all responsibility merely because he is a fool?”


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