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Milan Kundera & feminism : dangerous intersections

Author: John O'Brien
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 1995.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Since sexuality and sexual politics account for the most consistently engaged tensions in Milan Kundera's fiction, it is surprising that critical attention to Kundera's work has yet to produce an extensive study that concentrates on the Czech novelist's problematic representations of women. In this study, O'Brien offers two such in-depth considerations: First he tracks the (mis)representations of the female
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
O'Brien, John (John Joseph).
Milan Kundera & feminism.
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1995
(OCoLC)624322028
Named Person: Milan Kundera; Milan Kundera; Milan Kundera; Milan Kundera; Milan Kundera
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John O'Brien
ISBN: 0312122063 9780312122065
OCLC Number: 31708372
Description: xiii, 178 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: Ch. 1. (MIS)Representing Women --
Madonna/whore --
Beauty/ugliness --
Male friendship/female antagonism --
Strength/weakness --
Free will/fate --
Ch. 2. Seeing through the opposition: Kundera, deconstruction, and feminism --
Deconstruction --
The joke --
Laughable loves --
Life Is elsewhere --
The farewell party --
The book of laughter and forgetting --
The unbearable lightness of being --
Immortality.
Other Titles: Milan Kundera and feminism
Responsibility: John O'Brien.
More information:

Abstract:

Since sexuality and sexual politics account for the most consistently engaged tensions in Milan Kundera's fiction, it is surprising that critical attention to Kundera's work has yet to produce an extensive study that concentrates on the Czech novelist's problematic representations of women. In this study, O'Brien offers two such in-depth considerations: First he tracks the (mis)representations of the female characters; then he explores the promise of reading Kundera from the feminist perspective.

Initially, O'Brien takes Kundera to task for representing women from a perspective dominated by either/or, opposition-based frameworks. Instead of dismissing Kundera as sexist, however, O'Brien takes these concerns further, arguing that a feminist-postmodernist approach shows Kundera exposing, not reinforcing, the misrepresentation of women. Using an eclectic perspective that draws on the insights of feminist criticism and deconstruction, the author looks to strong women, such as The Unbearable Lightness of Being's Sabina in order to develop a method of simultaneously appreciating the complicated surfaces and the paradoxical depths of Kundera's work. Considering O'Brien's own cross-purpose and Kundera's famous penchant for ambiguity, the duality of O'Brien's conclusions are appropriate. Milan Kundera & Feminism considers Kundera's contributions to the feminist critique of representation without ignoring the serious difficulties for the feminist reader.

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