The Unbearable Lightness of Being

I finished “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” last night.

And cried like a little baby.

Book #52!

I loved this book. I found myself entranced with his words. And I am always impressed with the way an author can weave such images from one language so beautifully to the next.

And so many of the passages hit to the core…

“Tomas came to this conclusion: Making love with a woman and sleeping with a woman are two separate passions, not merely different but opposite. Love does not make itself felt in the desire for copulation (a desire that extends to an infinite number of women) but in the desire for shared sleep (a desire limited to one woman).

“For there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain on feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.”

“Chance and chance alone has a message for us. Everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out, is mute. Only chance can speak to us. We read its message much as gypsies read the images made by coffee grounds at the bottom of a cup…Necessity knows no magic formulae-they are all left to chance.”

“No, vertigo is something other then the fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”

“She was in the grip of an insuperable longing to fall. She lived in a constant state of vertigo. “Pick me up, ” is the message of a person who keeps falling. Tomas kept picking her up, patiently.”

“…for Franz, love was not an extention of public life but its antithesis. It meant a longing to put himself at the mercy of his partner. He who gives himself up like a prisoner of war must give up his weapons as well. And deprived in advance of defense against a possible blow, he cannot help wondering when the blow will fall. That is why I can say for Franz, love meant the constant expectation of a blow.”

“She had an overwhelming desire to tell him, like the most banal of women, Don’t let me go, hold me tight, make me your plaything, your slave, be strong! But they were words she could not say.”

“Sabrina processed with her melancholy musings; What if she had a man who ordered her about? A man who wanted to master her? How long would she put up with him? Not five minutes! From which it follows that no man was right for her. Strong or weak.”

“‘Why don’t you ever use your strength on me?” she said.
‘Because love means renouncing strength, ” said Franz softly.”

“His adventures with Tereza began at the exact point where his adventures with other women left off. It took place on the other side of the imperative that pushed him into conquest after conquest. He had no desire to uncover anything in Tereza. She had come to him uncovered. He had made love to her before he could grab for the imaginary scapula he used to open the prostrate body of the world. Before he could start wondering what she would be like when they made love, he loved her.”

“When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.”

“Perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short. Perhaps the reason what we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves up to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company.”

“Happiness is the longing for repetition.”


Whatcha talkin' bout Willis?