"Somewhere out in space there was a planet where all people would be born again. They would be fully aware of the life they had spent on earth and of all the experience they had amassed here.
And perhaps there was still another planet, where we would be born a third time with the experience of our first two lives.
And perhaps there were yet more and more planets, where mankind would be born one degree (one life) more mature.
Of course we here on earth (planet number one, the planet of inexperience) can only fabricate vague fantasies of what will happen to man on those other planets. Will he be wiser? Is maturity within man's power? Can he attain it through repetition?
Only from the perspective of such a utopia is it possible to use the concepts of pessimism and optimism wih full justification: an optimist is someone who thinks that on planet number five the history of mankind will be less bloody. A pessimist is one who thinks otherwise." (Kundera, 1984)
I am reading an incredible book. Usually I rip through novels so quickly, drinking up the plot and characters in such a story-crazed haze that suddenly it ends and I'm left in a novel-less depression, until I find my next fix. I'm proud to say I've been milking this book for the better part of the last two weeks and the closer I get to the end, the more drawn out I'm making this journey. Every single sentence seems to jump with importance, so much so that every five minutes or so I actually stop to reflect on what has been written.
My favorite part is that periodically the author stops and interjects, forgoing any 'character' voice and just speaking directly to the reader. Explaining things, his thoughts and philosophies, or how each character came to be.
The book is "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera.