The Art of the Novel

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“Incites us to reflect on fiction and philosophy, knowledge and truth, and brilliantly illustrates the art of the essay.” — The New Republic

“Every novelist’s work contains an implicit vision of the history of the novel, an idea of what the novel is. I have tried to express the idea of the novel that is inherent in my own novels.” — Milan Kundera

Kundera brilliantly examines the evolution, construction, and essence of the novel as an art form through the lens of his own work and through the work of such important and diverse figures as Rabelais, Cervantes, Sterne, Diderot, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Musil, Kafka, and perhaps the least known of all the great novelists of our time, Hermann Broch.

Kundera’s discussion of his own work includes his views on the role of historical events in fiction, the meaning of action, and the creation of character in the post-psychological novel.

Landmark collection of essays on subject. The first appearance of the title in English. The artistic manifesto of the greatest living “postmodern” novelist. Written with a strong philosophical and aesthetic background, the book’s greatest value is as the perfect antidote to the countless, dreary “critical theory” studies churned out by unimaginative and mediocre university professor/hacks. One of the most eloquent books on the novelist’s art, it is indispensable to a greater understanding of Milan Kundera’s roots, influences and very deeply held beliefs as a novelist as well as to the very possibilities of the novel itself as an art form. Wise, tender, poetic, intelligent and witty, as is to be expected from Kundera’s novels, and to be found in these essays, too. The question is no longer whether Kundera deserves to win the Nobel Prize but whether the award is worthy of him. © 2005,

Book Author:

Milan Kundera


Grove Press

Publication Date:





Nook, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Windows





About Author:

Milan Kundera is the author of the novels The Joke, Farewell Waltz, Life Is Elsewhere, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and the short-story col

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