Artist Resources

Daily Inspiration: Milan Kundera on Aiming for Something Higher

“The Unbearable Lightness of Being” author Milan Kundera wrote about relationships, lovers, and affairs during times of war. It was certainly a hard time, considering he grew up in what was then a politically divided Czechoslovakia before he was exiled to France where he became a naturalized citizen in 1975. Kundera’s books have historically been banned by Communist regimes (largely due to the critical subject matter of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”) until the fall of Communism in the region in 1989. In his seminal work, Kundera wrote  about the feeling of “vertigo” we open ourselves up to if we dare to aim for greatness.

“Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”

Don't fear vertigo. (Image: "15th" by Isabela Lamuño)

Kundera is a historical beacon of light when discussing risk and relationships, passion and literature and his works continue to be re-discovered and re-interpreted today.