The Book of Laughter and Forgetting | Critical Essay by Ellen Pifer

This literature criticism consists of approximately 20 pages of analysis & critique of The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.
This section contains 5,903 words
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SOURCE: "The Book of Laughter and Forgetting: Kundera's Narration against Narration," in Journal of Narrative Technique, Vol. 22. No. 2, Spring, 1992, pp. 84-96.

In the essay below, Pifer examines the way that Kundera's notion of the novel informs his narrative methods and practice, focusing mainly on The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

In Milan Kundera's novel, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, the narrator diagnoses the disease of "graphomania." "An obsession with writing books," graphomania has, he says, overtaken contemporary mass society and reached "epidemic" proportions. While graphomaniacs attempt to write their way out of the isolation induced by an advanced state of "social atomization," their obsession with self-expression paradoxically reinforces and perpetuates the sense of "general isolation" that is symptomatic of the disease. Kundera's narrator thus concludes his diagnosis: "The invention of printing originally promoted mutual understanding. In the era of graphomania the writing of books...

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This section contains 5,903 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ellen Pifer
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Critical Essay by Ellen Pifer from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.