Monday, May 09, 2016

Coming Soon to a Campus Near You

I was reading Milan Kundera's The Joke, a novel about a man in communist Czechoslovakia who is sent to a labor camp because he made a joke, and I had to pause at this passage about interactions with his Party comrades:

Sometimes (more in sport than from real concern) I defended myself against the charge of individualism. I demanded that my colleagues prove to me why I was an individualist. For want of concrete evidence they would say, "Because you act like one." "How do I act?" "You have a strange kind of smile." "And if I do? That's how I express my joy." "No, you smile as though you were thinking to yourself."

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