I also received Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being for Christmas. The book is about a doctor who writes a newspaper article. Also, there's some sex. And a discourse on whether Jesus had functional intestines (it's a "novel of ideas"). Anyway, here's the excerpt I thought medibloggers might want to mull, after the main character publishes his political article:
"Perhaps his deep-seated mistrust of people (his doubts as to their right to decide his destiny and to judge him) had played in part in his choice of profession, a profession that excluded him from public display. A man who chooses to be a politician, say, voluntarily makes the public his judge, with the naive assurance that he will gain its favor. And if the crowd does express its disapproval, it merely goads him on to bigger and better things, much in the way Tomas was spurred on by the difficulty of a diagnosis.
A doctor (unlike a politician or an actor) is judged only by his patients and immediate colleagues, that is, behind closed doors, man to man. Confronted by the looks of those who judge him, he can respond at once with his own look, to explain or defend himself. Now (for the first time in his life) Tomas found himself in a situation where the looks fixed on him were so numerous that he was unable to register them. He could answer them neither with his own look nor with words. He was at everyone's mercy..."
Tomas, of course, did not have Haloscan comments enabled, nor could he peruse his readers's details with Sitemeter. The relationship between reader and writer is approaching that the give-and-take seen with patient and doctor.