“Among Mankind’s Deepest Needs”: Repetitive Grief and Intimate Isolation in Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Emily A Bonner (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site: http://library.unca.edu/
Merritt Moseley

Abstract: In this paper, the author considers how two novels, though written by wholly different men from wholly different regions, manage to evoke a similar perspective on the concept of grief–born out of relational instances of shame, sacrifice, and betrayal–as it arises in close relationships. Both authors seek to portray the griefs experienced by their respective characters in an equally realistic and compassionate manner. In exploring the intimacy which exists on multiple levels–both in the isolation of the relationship itself, as well as in the further, personal isolation of individuals recognizing the failures of their relationships–both Kundera and Garcia Marquez have managed to create a vastly complex and full-bodied picture of grief as it exists within the realm of the intimate relationship. Through the use of similar repetitive structures, philosophizing narrators, and excursions into the world of magical realism, both authors create a means of exploring the way in which grief, iterated cyclically and perpetually, shapes a close relationship, and ultimately redefines the very nature of the intimacy itself.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
grief, human relationships

Email this document to