A friend advised me to read other novels by Kundera before diving into The unbearable lightness...
, his most famous writing, so that I could appreciate his other works, too. I wonder if that is the case, as I sense that I'll become one of his fans pretty soon.
This is the second book by Kundera and I enjoyed it quite a lot. There's something different about his writing style (I can't put my finger on it), but I can tell I love it! He has the gift to turn simple, mundane situations into an entire novel, where little things actually happen, but a lot of activity takes place on the psychological level. Ignorance
is a novel about two emigrants (Irena and Josef) who return to their birth country, Czech Republic, after 20 years of absence, and meet by chance in an airport. They had a a brief encounter a long time ago and now they start to "date" again. But their approach to this awkward affair is different, because they don't remember the same things. In fact, one of them doesn't remember anything. And their personal history and memories will eventually decide the outcome.
For me, the love story was not the central point of this novel. Kundera uses the story as a means of analyzing memory and memories, the way they act in different circumstances and for different people. The past is not the same for two individuals, even if they shared the same life. Not even the birth country can stand the test of memory: it seems estranged, ties are broken, friends are changed and oblivious.
I feel I have to read Ignorance
again in the near future. I liked it more than I had expected.