Saturday, June 6, 2009

The grand march.


"A year or two after emigrating, she happened to be in Paris on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of her country. A protest march had been scheduled, and she felt driven to take part. Fists raised high, the young Frenchmen shouted out slogans condemning Soviet imperialism. She liked the slogans, but to her surprise she found herself unable to shout along with them. She lasted no more than a few minutes in the parade.

When she told her French friends about it, they were amazed. 'You mean you don't want to fight the occupation of your country?' She would have liked to tell them that behind Communism, Fascism, behind all occupations and invasions lurks a more basic, pervasive evil and that the image of that evil was a parade of people marching by with raised fists and shouting identical syllables in unison. But she knew she would never be able to make them understand. Embarrassed, she changed the subject."

-Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

3 comments:

grecian goldsmith said...

"But she knew she would never be able to make them understand."

FashionTouch said...

I love this book. Kundera is one of my all time favs. All of his novells are great, make you think a lot about life. Thank you for mentioning it here! His books were prohibited in Russia when I was a kid, somehow I am glad that 1st time read them when I was about 20-22 yo so I could deeply understand them. A Joke by him is another favorite.

grecian goldsmith said...

Elena,

I'm so glad you know of this book and that you love it. I love it very much as well. Kundera is such an amazing writer. And I agree, one must be a bit older to really understand him.