* The novel opens with in February, 1948, when Klement Gottwald steps out onto a balcony to address the Czech people below.
* Clementis gives Gottwald his fur cap since it is very cold. Clementis is later wiped from the history of the Czech people, but the image of the hat remains as a memory to him.
* The chapter then flashes forward to 1971 and a man named Mirek is driving to see Zdena, a woman that he had an affair with 25 years ago.
* Mirek is being followed since he is now considered an enemy of the state, a fact he is very aware of, but still persistently drives to meet this woman on the pretense that he wants his old love letters back from her.
* Mirek stops at a auto repair shop where he is received reluctantly but his auto is repaired.
* Kundera discusses a number of...
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