Dating without kundera

While we might not want to turn back the clock that far, if we lose all privacy we risk becoming the sort of people Kundera defines in Slowness as “Dancers,” politicians who spend their lives performing for an invisible audience – although Dancers would more likely describe themselves as people skilled at managing their own public persona.

We become Dancers when we log onto social media and perform in front of the tribunal of our peers.

Kundera notes in Testaments Betrayed that “because in private, a person says all sorts of things, slurs friends, uses coarse language, acts silly, tells dirty jokes, repeats himself, makes a companion laugh by shocking him with outrageous talk, floats heretical ideas he'd never admit in public, and so forth,” any private conversation becomes ludicrous once it is made public.

In The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Kundera reproaches Éluard for failing to condemn the hanging of the writer Záviš Kalandra, following a show trial in Prague in 1950.1950, a time of Stalinist terror in Czechoslovakia, was also the year of an arrest which decades later caused Kundera himself to undergo trial by media.According to archival data released in 2008, it was Kundera who, in 1950, as student head of his dormitory, reported that a visitor had left a briefcase in a fellow student's room.Tereza learns the naïvete of trusting in technology.In a non-fictional passage from the same book, Kundera indignantly describes the fate of the Czech novelist Jan Procházka, whose private conversations were recorded by the government, then unexpectedly broadcast publicly over the airwaves to harm his image.

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