Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera is a collection of seven masterful short stories which were banned upon their appearance in 1968.
Laughable Loves is a collection of stories that first appeared in print in Prague before 1968, but was then banned. The seven stories are all concerned with love, or rather with the complex erotic games and stratagems employed by women and especially men as they try to come to terms with needs and impulses that can start a terrifying train of events. Sexual attraction is shown as a game that often turns sour, an experience that brings with it painful insights and releases uncertainty, panic, vanity and a constant need for reassurance. Thus a young couple on holiday start a game of pretence that threatens to destroy their relationship, two middle-aged men go in search of girls they don't really want, a young man renews contact with an older woman who feels humiliated by her ageing body, an elderly doctor uses his beautiful wife to increase his attraction and minister to his sexual vanity. In Laughable Loves, Milan Kundera shows himself, once again, as a master of fiction's most graceful illusions and surprises.
Milan Kundera, born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, was a student when the Czech Communist regime was established in 1948, and later worked as a labourer, jazz musician and professor at the Institute for Advanced Cinematographic Studies in Prague. After the Russian invasion in August 1968, his books were proscribed. In 1975, he and his wife settled in France, and in 1981, he became a French citizen. He is the author of the novels The Joke, Life is Elsewhere, Farewell Waltz, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and of the short-story collection Laughable Loves - all originally in Czech. His most recent novels, Slowness, Identity and Ignorance, as well as his non-fiction works The Art of the Novel and Testaments Betrayed, were originally written in French.
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