Sunday, July 03, 2005

Milan Kundera Disease (henceforth known as MKD)

While reading Joshilyn Jackson's latest blog, one of her comments came from the overly-verbose but witty Cornelia Read. I've stolen part (just part) of her comment because a) I think it's brilliant, 2) I will refer to this in the future, c) you need to know what I'm talking about and 4)CR doesn't have her own blog to refer you back to.

(is that convoluted enough for you?)

Anyway, CR wrote:

Every time I read one of your blog posts I get this wicked attack of what I call Milan Kundera Disease, which sadly does not mean I resemble him in any writerly way, but is just based on a line from one of his books (Here I edit out about 12 lines of nattering).

Um... anyway... in this one novel of his (more editing) two women are talking in a bar in the middle of the afternoon outside Prague or whatever and the narrator floats this observation that conversations often consist of Someone #2 butting in to say "that's just like me, I..." right when Someone #1 is making a really good and cogent and heartfelt point, whereupon Someone #2 hijacks the whole thing with an idiotic only-vaguely-connected transparent excuse of an anecdote as The Thin End of the Wedge to yammering on about their great aunt's horrible sciatica for hours.

Now we all know someone who does this... interrupts right at the crucial point in a conversation... and butts in with longwinded comments that are a)trivial and b) only rather tangentially related to the original conversation. (Ok, Pickles... you KNOW of whom I speak..)

But before this post I never had a name to call this habit. And calling it Milan Kundera Disease sounds both intellectual and vague. All in all a good thing.

I think MK won the Nobel prize for Incredible Lightness of Being... but I can't find confirmation of that online yet, so he probably has only beed nominated about a gazillion times.

Now the big ethical question:

Do I have to have read his books to use this reference?


JulieZS said...

OMG, I think I suffer from this horrible affliction. Just elbow me or something if I start nattering on. (grin)

Deb R said...

Hey! That's just like me. I was talking to this guy once, by the ocean, when we were on vacation in...oh...never mind. ;-)

I say no, you don't have to read the book to use the idea. For whatever my opinion is worth! (snort!)

PS...I can still see your weather pixie and she's dressed Barbie-cute today in pink hiphugger pants and a white tank with a pink butterfly.

Debra said...

Yeah, she just showed up for me.. after a several day absence. I missed her.