LAUGHABLE LOVES by Milan Kundera


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These seven short stories by a Czech writer are artful and sometimes funny -- a gallows humor based on the traditional cynicism and bureaucratism of middle-class Central Europeans, and their current view of freedom as freakishness, aphrodisia, private intrigue. Kundera's men find solace in impressing each other with seductions and humiliating women who are either young and adoring or older and concupiscent. In further variations on ""the idiocy of eroticism"" a demure gift starts playing the whore with her lover and the game takes over; a professor of art parries a pesky review-seeker by charging that he made advances to his mistress, whereupon the man's wife submits affidavits to the effect that such a thing would be physically impossible; a young man feigns religious conversion to surmount his girl's resistance, then is repelled by ""how easily and remorselessly she was now betraying her God of No Fornication."" Life, ironic but goatish, among ""the old dead"" and ""the young dead.

Pub Date: July 12th, 1974
ISBN: 0060997036
Publisher: Knopf