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A Short Improvisation on Milan Kundera’s Slowness

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Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya’s improvisations, or rather his interpretation as improvisation (of classical Indian texts, thinkers, schools of thought and concepts, as well as of the work of Immanuel Kant), inspires my own improvisation on Milan Kundera’s 1996 novel Slowness (La lenteur, 1995). Not only do I attempt to improvise, or to “interfere creatively” (apropos the Sanskrit notion of svīkaraṇa) in Kundera’s work, but moreover, I argue that this is exactly how he himself works in Slowness with Vivant Denon’s 1777 novella No Tomorrow (Point de lendemain). Reading Kundera, as I do here, with and through Indian theory, from the 7th or 8th century poet Rājaśekhara to contemporary thinkers such as Bhattacharyya, Daya Krishna, Mukund Lath and others, is not a standard move. However, it enables me to contemplate “in action” about the possibilities and impossibilities of a cross-cultural dialogue, as a potent tool of interpretation.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv UniversityIsrael


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