The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Milan Kundera

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Part 6, Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

In the world of totalitarian kitsch, questions are not permitted, which means that one who asks questions is the complete enemy of kitsch. Asking questions is like cutting through the backdrop of kitsch with a knife, exposing exactly what is below. Sabina once took part in a German exhibit in which her biography in the exhibit’s catalogue identified her as a Czech refugee who suffered horribly and escaped persecution. “My enemy is kitsch, not Communism!” Sabrina yelled. After that incident, Sabina does not tell people that she is from Czechoslovakia. 
Cutting through the backdrop of kitsch with a knife and exposing what is below harkens to Tomas’s profession as a surgeon and the literal and metaphorical scalpel he uses to cut and expose. Sabina doesn’t have an ethical objection to communism; she has a problem with kitsch. In parading her around as a poor refugee who endured persecution, Sabina herself becomes kitsch, which is why she begins hiding her Czech identity.
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