What does immortality mean in Immorality by Milan Kunera?

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Jessica Pope | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Milan Kundera's Immortality explores many different layers of immortality. On one level, Kundera examines the ways in which novelists achieve immortality through their work. In the book, great writers such as Hemingway and Geothe converse with one another in the afterlife. They discuss feeling not quite as dead as others in the afterlife; after all, they muse, folks are still uttering their names, and reading their works. In a way, their literary masterpieces have kept them alive.

On a more intimate level, Kundera explores how personal gestures — a woman's hand waving on the beach, or the particular touch of a lover's caress — have their own lives. Gestures flow from person to person. A child will wave her hand like her mother. A partner will caress his next lover in perhaps much the same way as his former partner caressed him. In this way, gestures move from person to person, in perpetuity. Thus, human bodily gestures could be said to have a life of their own; and, an immortal one at that.

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