Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Joke

'The Joke' comes almost as close to `The Lightness". Often times I woke up to realize that I was reading Kundera and not Kafka ! I envy Kundera's poetic narrative. He tells the story of an young communist by name ludvik who plays an innocent `joke' that ultimately changed his life.
As soon as Ludwig got to Prague, he pounced on his wife ( I call her his wife, but she actually was just another nineteen year old girl) and she admitted everything brazently (perhaps even eagerly);
He started beating her; she fought back; he started chocking her and smashed a bottle over her head; she fell to the floor and lay there motionless.He immediatly realised what he had done, panicked, and fled. Shomehow or other he found an empty summer cottage in the mountains and holed up there in terrified anticipation of being caught and hanged for murder. When they found him two months later, they put him on trial for desertion rather than murder.His wife, it turns out, has regained conciousness shortly after he ran out and had nothing to show for the adventure than a bump in the head. While he was serving his time, she divorced him and today he she the wife of a famous Prague actor. I go to his plays from time to time just to remind myself of Stanza and his unhappy end. After his term of service was up he stayed on in the mines; an accident cost him a leg, the amputation took his life.


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