Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kundera rejecting his home?

I found this article about Kundera that I found quite interesting. Here's the link if you want to check it out http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/milan-kundera-skips-hometown-conference-on-his-work-1.802373

It basically states that in 1975 he left the Czech Republic for France and became a French citizen in 1981and hasn't been back since then. In recent years he's even gone so far as to forbid publishers from publishing his books in the Czech language. In fact, the last book he published in Czech was Immortality, in 1990. This could be some sort of metaphor but it seems rather odd to me. He also hasn't returned to accept the Czech National Prize for literature and has even stated that "sees himself as a French writer and insists his work should be studied as French literature and classified as such in book stores"


Sri Korrapati said...

This reminds me greatly of Sabina. Remember that not only did she leave Czech, she hid the fact that she was from there. Could this be a parallel to Kundera? He mentions that all of these characters are manifestations of him. Sabina could even be his explanation. Sabina tries to make it clear that she's against kitsch and not oppression in Czech. In the article, Kundera makes it clear that he's a French writer, and that his books should be dissected only as French literature.

Iris Mire said...

Kundera's comment that his works should be analyze as French literature make me wonder if maybe we are missing some layers of analysis by reading it in English, as Americans, and looking at it as a Czech book. I personally don't know much about French lit but it raises an interesting question. I think Sri is right that Sabina is the personification of the part of Kundera's personality that is, at least to some degree, disgusted with his country and that rejects his Czech heritage.