The Book of Laughter and Forgetting - Part V: Litost Summary & Analysis

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Part V: Litost Summary

Kristyna is a 30-year-old woman who is married to a butcher and occasionally has an affair with an auto mechanic. One day, she meets a student on his vacation and they begin an affair, although it is wholly non-physical (despite the student's best attempts!) No one has ever spoken to Kristyna about philosophy and higher thinking, which entices her. At the end of summer, Kristyna and the student agree to meet in the city at the student's meager apartment.

Kundera introduces us to the concept of litost, which is a Czech word that means a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one's own misery. The student has had a previously bad relationship with his ex-girlfriend and in the presence of his litost, Kristyna comes to him like a band-aid, soothing his ego with her obvious worship...

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This section contains 669 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Study Guide
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