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Life Is Elsewhere

Kundera, Milan

11,069 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0394480104 / ISBN 13: 9780394480107
Published by Knopf, 1974
Hardcover
From zenosbooks (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since March 24, 1997

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

New York. 1974. Knopf. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjacket With Some Tears. 30. 293 pages. July 1974. hardcover. Jacket illustration by Frank A. Fitzgerald. 0394480104. keywords: April 1. inventory # 37142. FROM THE PUBLISHER - ‘It a necessary to be absolutely modern.’ – Rimbaud. The Poet - From his birth he is willed to be Artist by his romantic, disappointed mother, who praises his first stumble into rhyme (‘Ugly Anna stole banana’ - she, immemorial-Mama-editor, transcribes it as ‘Our dear Anna loves a banana’). As a boy, he is stung when his schoolmates contradict the image she has imposed on him: Prodigy. As a youth, he escapes her - in search of his own authentic self. To be modern, to be radical, to change the world - this is his compulsion, his idea of the artist's place in the cosmic scheme. At last, at the University of Prague, as the Communists rally the students to their cause (this is 1948), he is endowed with a persona that both he and the rest of the world can accept: People's Literary Hero, an identity validated by the rousing applause given his poems by the assembled members of the poetry circle of the Police Academy. This is Jaromil, protagonist of Milan Kundera's brilliant, unsparing, and high-comic novel - a portrait of the self-deluded poet defining himself through abstract cliche yet determined to stand out as Hero, whose naive and frenzied venture into the real blood and guts of politics preordains his emergence as fool and informer, setting in motion a tragedy of errors. In its wry, sly, ultimately blasphemous ambushing of the very essence of the romantic poet's ego and the ‘lyrical’ attitude toward life - nearly every episode in Jaromil's story has its (almost) counter - part in the life of some great poet - LIFE IS ELSEWHERE demonstrates the gifts that have won for Kundera, Czechoslovakia's foremost novelist, the praise of such diverse writers as Sartre, Aragon, and Philip Roth. Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjacket With Some Tears. Bookseller Inventory # 37142

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Life Is Elsewhere

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: 1974

Binding: hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

A budding poet and his adoring mother are the central characters of this intriguing early novel by Milan Kundera. He takes us through the young man's fantasies and love affairs in a characteristic tour de force, alive with wit, eroticism and ideas.

From the Back Cover:

The author initially intended to call this novel The Lyrical Age. The lyrical age, according to Kundera, is youth, and this novel, above all, is an epic of adolescence; an ironic epic that tenderly erodes sacrosanct values: childhood, motherhood, revolution, and even poetry. Jaromil is in fact a poet. His mother made him a poet and accompanies him (figuratively) to his love bed and (literally) to his death bed. A ridiculous and touching character, horrifying and totally innocent ("innocence with its bloody smile"!), Jaromil is at the same time a true poet. He's no creep, he's Rimbaud. Rimbaud entrapped by the communist revolution, entrapped in a somber farce.

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