Monday, January 4, 2010

Kundera VS Auster

I have been lately alternating between Milan Kundera and Paul Auster although the latter is 18 years younger than the former yet both are contemporary novelists whose styles savour philosophical themes that interlace at the themes of coincidence, language, and identity among others. Both their novels are intricately sewed around philosophical questions but I enjoy reading Auster more. Although Kundera’s characters are more elaborate, likeable, and real but Auster’s characters are intriguing in their complexities and philosophical insights. Kundera’s characters are relevant by what they do and say. Auster’s characters are often relevant by what and how they think. Auster’s thoughts are conveyed through his characters who are often authors of some kind (or professors) while Kundera’s thoughts are delivered through himself as the ultimate narrator and creator. I only hate Auster’s intentional tendency to unnecessarily refer to the holocaust even if that does not add anything to the overall scheme of the novel and that he somehow feels obliged to have one of his characters a Jew. This is only relevant because Auster is a Jew himself of Polish descent.

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