Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Milan Kundera - The Joke (free download eBook pdf english version)

This fifth English-language version of the ingenious first novel by the best-selling author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being ( LJ 5/1/84) is based on Michael Henry Heim's translation (Harper & Row, 1984), which Kundera originally praised but found wanting after more careful review. The new version replaces words and phrases with more idiomatic or precise substitutes, occasionally recasting whole sentences. As a result, the narrators are better differentiated and the language more alive and natural, particularly in the reflective passages. The story of Ludvik Jahn's misfired joke, which ruins his life by giving him a reputation as an enemy of the state, and his equally misfired attempt at revenge (seduction of the wife of the Party official he holds responsible for his misfortune) is well worth reading--and purchasing--again in this definitive version fully revised by the author. Marie Bednar, Pennsylvania State Univ. Libs., University Park

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