Milan Kundera—Reflections on Flux (Published)
This paper studies the concept of flux/change as portrayed by Milan Kundera in his novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Change or flux has been a phenomenon which preoccupied many philosophers and thinkers since ages. Growth and decay, physical and psychological change, change in moral principles, change in successive stages of life, change in consciousness subsequent to causal determinants is the essential condition of life. Kundera reinforces the constant that is change. The stylistic fluidity of this novel corresponds to the thematic fluency. The winding structure of the novel and the authorial reflections mingle the genre of essay writing with storytelling with remarkable ease. Throughout the novel, Kundera strikes at the conventional and in so doing chalks out new terrains of thought and interpretation. The third person narratorial stance enables the establishment of intimacy with the characters and reveals the innermost depths of their psyche. During these probings, Kundera finds room to express his thoughts on recurrence, totalitarianism, the concept of Kitch and blends dream sequence with reality creating a surreal effect in a seamless narrative. The absurdity of life is encapsulated in man’s helplessness and the queries of a restless soul. The idea of flux is retained in the manner in which Kundera creates moral ambiguity in a situation.
Keywords: Fluidity, Flux, Moral ambiguity, Recurrence, Totalitarian, kitch