Paper Titles in Periodical
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences
ILSHS Volume 55

Subscribe to our Newsletter and get informed about new publication regulary and special discounts for subscribers!

ILSHS > ILSHS Volume 55 > Parody of a Life which is Elsewhere
< Back to Volume

Parody of a Life which is Elsewhere

Full Text PDF


Life Is Elsewhere is a reflective introspection into the life of a young poet and of his demanding mother. Kindera depicts the mother as a woman feeling unworthy of love who relishes the fantasy of being Jaromil’s ethereal mother in order to escape from her actual bodily deprivation and resolve her psychological tensions. On the other hand, Jaromil’s portrait as a young poet involves his consonant, in Lacan’s terms, imaginary and symbolic identifications which lead him to an unending alienation in the context of a socialist system. Reading the novel in the light of Bakhtin’s ideas on parody and its polyphonic nature illuminates Kundera’s parodic treatment of motherhood, poetic, political and historical discourses, and especially his use of parody as a political means to oppose the domineering voice of totalitarianism. However, by giving parody an ontological status, Kundera considers it as the inevitable destiny of a human being who has forgotten his authentic “being” and ignored all his existential possibilities opened up to realization. Applying this notion to Kundera’s relation to his characters, Jaromil and the middle-aged man, implies that these two characters are, in fact, the parody of the two stages of Kundera’s own life and that of his generation’s.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 55)
J. Momeni, "Parody of a Life which is Elsewhere", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 55, pp. 35-43, 2015
Online since:
July 2015

Abrams, Meyer H., and Geoffrey Galt. Harpham. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Boston, Mass.: Thomson Wadsworth, 2012. Print.

Bachtin, Michail Michajlovic. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Austin: U of Texas, 1994. Print.

Homer, Sean. Jacques Lacan. London: Routledge, 2005. Print.

Kundera, Milan, and Aaron Asher. Life Is Elsewhere. New York: HarperPerennial, 2000. Print.

Kundera, Milan. The Art of the Novel. New York: Grove, 1988. Print.

Kundera, Milan. The Unbearable Lightness of Being. New York: Harper & Row, 1984. Print.

Macherey, Pierre, and Geoffrey Wall. A Theory of Literary Production. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978. Print.

Marx, Karl. Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. Prometheus Books, 1988. Print.

Nelson, Victoria. Review: The Poet and His Mother., The Threepenny Review No. 24 (1986): 10-11. JSTOR. Web. 20 June (2015).

Ricard, Francois. Satan's Point of View: Towards A Reading of Life Is Elsewhere., Salmagundi No. 73. Milan Kundera: Fictive Lightness, Fictive Weight (1987): 58-64. JSTOR. Web. 20 June (2015).

Seaton, James. Lyric Poetry, the Novel, and Revolution: Milan Kundera's Life Is Elsewhere., N. p., 2007. Web.

Stavrakakis, Yannis. Lacan and the Political. London: Routledge, 1999. Print.

Wilson, Ross. Theodor Adorno. London: Routledge, 2007. Print.

i ek, Slavoj. The Sublime Object of Ideology. London: Verso, 1989. Print.

Show More Hide
Cited By:

[1] A. Mohammadi, J. Momeni, "Non-Identity and Parodoxicality in Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 75, p. 32, 2017