Piscines et plages chez Kundera

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Swimming pools, stricto sensu, are a newcomer in the gallery of western topoï, linked as they are to 20th century consumer culture. For obvious reasons they have become a recognized cinematographic topos, but - more surprisingly - they have also made their way to novel. For instance you find a lot of swimming pools in the novels of Milan Kundera. This is in fact quite astonishing. Kundera is not an author with a great sense of place. As far as descriptions and portraits are concerned, Kundera obeys a principle of maximum economy. However there are some exceptions to this rule, because sometimes objects and places can contribute to enlighten and explore what Kundera calls the existential code of the characters. The swimming pool is such a place. This purpose of this paper is to question the thematic concerns highligthened by the swimming pool. These concerns evolve around questions of sexuality, identity and nihilism in a mode that is much darker and more troubled than one would expect
Original languageFrench
JournalRevue Romane
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)239–255
Publication statusPublished - 2007

ID: 3884176