The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

The Art of Tetman Callis header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'Milan Kundera'

Not guilty

September 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“She had never been able to get rid of the fourteen-year-old girl within herself who was ashamed of her breasts and had the disagreeable feeling that she was indecent, because they stuck out from her body and were visible. Even though she was proud of being pretty and having a good figure, this feeling of […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Where they fester

September 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“Childish desires withstand all the snares of the adult mind and often survive into ripe old age.” – Milan Kundera, “The Hitchhiking Game” (trans. Suzanne Rappaport)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

No laughing matter

September 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“A man lives a sad life when he cannot take anything or anyone seriously.” – Milan Kundera, “Edward and God” (trans. Suzanne Rappaport)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Swinging all ways

September 13th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“All great novels, all true novels are bisexual. This is to say that they express both a feminine and a masculine vision of the world. The sex of the authors as physical people is their private affair.” — Milan Kundera (interview with Lois Oppenheim in The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Summer 1989, Vol. 9.2)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Look out, it’s right beside you

January 2nd, 2012 · No Comments

“It takes so little, so infinitely little, for a person to cross the border beyond which everything loses meaning: love, convictions, faith, history.  Human life–and herein lies its secret–takes place in the immediate proximity of that border, even in direct contact with it; it is not miles away, but a fraction of an inch.” — […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

In America, it’s called public education

January 1st, 2012 · No Comments

“The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory.  Destroy its books, its culture, its history.  Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history.  Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was.  The world around it will forget even […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

My ears are ringing and no lo entiendo

December 31st, 2011 · No Comments

“Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding.” — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (trans. Heim)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

A plague upon the nation

December 30th, 2011 · No Comments

“Graphomania (an obsession with writing books) takes on the proportions of a mass epidemic whenever a society develops to the point where it can provide three basic conditions: 1. a high enough degree of general well-being to enable people to devote their energies to useless activities; 2. an advanced state of social atomization and the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

I’m ready for my close-up

December 29th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“Police files are our only claim to immortality.” — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (trans. Heim)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

You can get a grant for that

December 28th, 2011 · 4 Comments

“People are always shouting they want to create a better future.  It’s not true.  The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone.  The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it.  The only reason people want to be masters of […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

The Weight

December 27th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (trans. Heim)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Stuff it full of catnip

December 14th, 2011 · No Comments

“If we cannot accept the importance of the world, which considers itself important, if in the midst of that world our laughter finds no echo, we have but one choice: to take the world as a whole and make it into the object of our game; to turn it into a toy.” — Milan Kundera, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Can’t say if it’s a good thing or not

December 13th, 2011 · 6 Comments

“It has been extremely lucky that up to now wars have been fought only by men.  If they had been fought by women, they would have been so consistently cruel that today there wouldn’t be a single human being left on the planet.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera · Politics & Law

The unmoved episode

December 12th, 2011 · No Comments

“If our lives were endless, like the lives of the gods of antiquity, the concept of episode would lose its meaning, for in infinity every event, no matter how trivial, would meet up with its consequence and unfold into a story.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Watch your step

December 11th, 2011 · No Comments

“No episode is a priori condemned to remain an episode forever, for every event, no matter how trivial, conceals within itself the possibility of sooner or later becoming the cause of other events and thus changing into a story or an adventure.  Episodes are like land mines.  The majority of them never explode, but the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Sleeping on the slats

December 10th, 2011 · 6 Comments

“Life is as stuffed with episodes as a mattress is with horsehair, but a poet (according to Aristotle) is not an upholsterer and must remove all stuffing from his story, even though real life consists of nothing but precisely such stuffing.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

In our next episode, Biff boffs Bambi

December 9th, 2011 · No Comments

“In Aristotle’s Poetics, the episode is an important concept.  Aristotle did not like episodes.  According to him, an episode, from the point of view of poetry, is the worst possible type of event.  It is neither an unavoidable consequence of preceding action nor the cause of what is to follow: it is outside the causal […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

The answer could be yes

December 8th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“Isn’t the cause of most bad paintings and bad novels simply the fact that artists consider their passion for art something holy, some sort of mission if not duty (duty to oneself, even to mankind)?” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

The bearable happiness of being

December 7th, 2011 · No Comments

“Living, there is no happiness in that.  Living: carrying one’s painful self through the world.  But being, being is happiness.  Being: becoming a fountain, a fountain on which the universe falls like warm rain.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

That’s why we write them

December 6th, 2011 · No Comments

“What is essential in a novel is precisely what can only be expressed in a novel.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Taking the slow low road

December 5th, 2011 · No Comments

“Road: a strip of ground over which one walks.  A highway differs from a road not only because it is solely intended for vehicles, but also because it is merely a line that connects one point to another.  A highway has no meaning in itself; its meaning derives entirely from the two points that it […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Never getting it right

December 4th, 2011 · No Comments

“To be mortal is the most basic human experience, and yet man has never been able to accept it, grasp it, and behave accordingly.  Man doesn’t know how to be mortal.  And when he dies, he doesn’t even know how to be dead.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Pinch him and see what he thinks

December 3rd, 2011 · 4 Comments

“I think, therefore I am is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches.  I feel, therefore I am is a truth much more universally valid.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi, emphasis in original)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Fight for your right to fight for your right

December 1st, 2011 · No Comments

“The more the fight for human rights gains in popularity, the more it loses any concrete content, becoming a kind of universal stance of everyone toward everything, a kind of energy that turns all human desires into rights.  The world has become man’s right and everything in it has become a right: the desire for […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera · Politics & Law

Tap-dancing through the minefield

November 30th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“War can only exist in a world of tragedy; from the beginning of history man has known only a tragic world and has not been capable of stepping out of it.  The age of tragedy can be ended only by the revolt of frivolity.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Hostage to all fortune

November 29th, 2011 · No Comments

“A man can take his own life.  But he cannot take his own immortality.  As soon as immortality has you aboard, you can’t get off, and even if you shoot yourself you’ll stay on deck along with your suicide.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

A joyful noyse?

November 28th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“Does love for art really exist and has it ever existed?  Is it not a delusion?  When Lenin proclaimed that he loved Beethoven’s Appassionata above all else, what was it that he really loved?  What did he hear?  Music?  Or a majestic noise that reminded him of the solemn stirrings in his soul, a longing […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

The best-dressed person in the graveyard

November 27th, 2011 · No Comments

“Up to a certain moment our death seems too distant for us to occupy ourselves with it.  It is unseen and invisible.  That is the first, happy period of life.  But then we suddenly begin to see our death ahead of us and we can no longer keep ourselves from thinking about it.  It is […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Suffer the little children

November 26th, 2011 · No Comments

“Nothing is more useful than to adopt the status of a child: a child can do whatever it likes, for it is innocent and inexperienced; it need not observe the rules of social behavior, for it has not yet entered a world ruled by form; it may show its feelings, whether they are appropriate or […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera · Politics & Law

Good thing they’re not in charge

November 25th, 2011 · No Comments

“The whole art of politics these days lies not in running the polis (which runs itself by the logic of its own dark and uncontrollable mechanism), but in thinking up ‘sound bites’ by which the politician is seen and understood, measured in opinion polls, and elected or rejected in elections.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Milan Kundera · Politics & Law