Sep 2005

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Wow. How on Earth does one do justice to such a classic book with a little, meagre blog entry? There are plenty of comprehensive reviews of it already on, so I encourage you to read those reviews and descriptions if you’ve never heard of the book. It’s apparently pinned as a difficult-to-read book, but I found the writing style quite conversational, and easy to put down and pick up where you left off (unlike those evil books which you just can’t put down even when it’s 5am and you really should be going to bed so you can stay awake at work the next day). One thing that surprised me about it is that it’s more recent than I expected: from what I can gather, the first publishing date is in 1984.

(Note: spoilers follow!)

While I loved pretty much every part of the book, the most striking bits for me were:

  • Milan Kundera’s vivid descriptions of Karenin, Tomas and Tereza’s dog. I don’t think I’ve ever been moved so much about an animal as when I read about how joyful Karenin was about his daily activities, and later in the book when he’s not so joyful. I didn’t quite shed a tear, but the descriptions evoked some serious happiness and sadness.
  • Kundera’s thoughts about “what happens once happens not at all”, and the idea that chance is what defines your life. It’s only a short paragraph or two, but the description of the six unlikely events that led Tereza to meet Tomas has stuck with me long after reading it.
  • The idea that a man (ahem, in this politically correct age, I mean, a person) is defined by the heavy decisions he makes. It’s interesting to note which philosophers Kundera refers to when he compares lightness and heaviness, and how some viewed lightness as a Good Thing and heaviness and weightiness as a Bad Thing.
  • The whole idea of monogamy: is sleeping around on your partner an acceptable thing to do? Can it be forgiven in some circumstances, or for some people? Is anybody who sleeps around when they’re married a Bad Person for breaking the vow of marriage (which, I’d like to point out for the record, I take pretty seriously)? I don’t know. Is anything in this world so black and white? Are relationships so important and sacred that they’re not also susceptible to the laws of complexity?

Es muss sein, es muss sein, es muss sein. Immense thanks to the person who gave me this book; my life is certainly richer for it!


My South Park Character

For those who haven’t seen the awexome South Park Character Studio yet:

Ice cream in the left hand, skis on the feet. Aww jeah.


Your code as a filesystem

Ever wanted to view the classes and methods in your code via FTP? If not, why not?