Books: Magic Molehill?

THE FAREWELL PARTY

by MILAN KUNDERA

209 pages. Knopf. $7.95.

A writer must know how to start a fight. A good writer must know how to finish one. Czechoslovakia's Milan Kundera is a good writer, but like so many other dissident artists in Communist countries, the fights he starts in his satiric novels and stories are lost battles at the outset. In The Joke, Life Is Elsewhere and Laughable Loves, Kundera attempted to shift the combat to that more neutral ground known as the human comedy. Even so, he never really escapes the sadness and...

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