I finished reading “Ignorance” by Milan Kundera and I feel like sharing about the book. I had already written about it before I started reading it.
As I was expecting, he has handled this difficult concept in very complex way but it is a great reading. The book looks at the concept of Ignorance from the point of view of Czech expatriates who had left their home country due to communism and have now returned after twenty years. This visit brings about a range of emotions for the people who are returning and for the people who have stayed back in their homeland.
People who have come back are talking about how difficult their life had been in a foreign land whereas people who have stayed back want to talk about how good their life had been while they stayed in homeland. The truth is opposite but it is just that people either forget or feign ignorance in different circumstances. It is like expatriates are trying to convince themselves of the reasons to come back whereas people who stayed back are convincing themselves that not going out was the right thing for them to do.
The book also talks about how people have selective memories. We remember what we want to or what has affected us more. Two people who had been in relationship have a complete different recollection of it. When they meet after a long gap this difference in recollection creates a very awkward situation for both. Ignorance is either due to people forgetting about their memories or it can be due to people wanting to forget about it. Author has handled the concept very beautifully and brings about the pain of leaving the homeland and eventual return or the thought of return. Of course, author has used human relationships which influence us all the time.
A great book to read and ponder about.