Milan Kundera


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Kundera, Milan

(mĭl`än ko͝ondĕr`ə), 1929–, Czechslovakian-born novelist and essayist. The publication of his first novel, The Joke (1967, tr. 1974), a satire of Stalinist Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, roughly coincided with the 1968 Soviet invasion of his homeland. The book and his criticism of the invasion brought Kundera, formerly a committed communist, severe disapproval by the new government, and were key factors in the banning of his work, his expulsion from the Communist party, and the loss of both his teaching position and his citizenship. These events led to his decision to flee Czechoslovakia and settle (1975) in France, where he became (1981) a citizen.

His widely translated fiction, which is often set against a totalitarian backdrop yet is usually apolitical in tone, looks ironically at love, sex, and the possibility of spiritual fulfillment in the modern age. His works frequently treat themes of exile and return, memory and forgetfulness, nostalgia and regret. Kundera's most acclaimed novels are The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979, tr. 1980, 1996) and The Unbearable Lightness of Being (tr. 1984). Among his other novels are Life Is Elsewhere (tr. 1974, 2000) and Immortality (1990, tr. 1991), both written in Czech; and Slowness (1995, tr. 1996), Identity (1997, tr. 1998), and Ignorance (2000, tr. 2002), all originally in French. He has also written plays, short stories, poetry, and essays. Among the latter are collections containing his reflections on fiction, The Art of the Novel (1986, tr. 1988), Testaments Betrayed (tr. 1995), The Curtain (2005, tr. 2007), and Encounter (2009, tr. 2010), in which he also discusses poetry, music, and painting.

Bibliography

See studies by M. N. Banerjee (1990) and F. Ricard (2003).

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Award-winning author Milan Kundera, now 86, defected from his native Czechoslovakia in 1975 and settled in Paris, where he wrote his most famous novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984).
It may seem unusual to revisit "The Hitchhiking Game", one of seven short stories which make up Laughable Loves, a largely unknown anthology by Milan Kundera, first published in Czech as Smesne Lasky (1968), and subsequently revised and translated (2) into various languages.
Conversation in London and Connecticut with Milan Kundera.
Other authors who have received the Jerusalem Prize include Simone de Beauvoir, Milan Kundera, Arthur Miller and Haruki Murakami.
It's about Gregory Bateson, Henry Miller, Gertrude Stein, Marcel Duchamp, Edward Weston, Georgia O'Keeffe, Claude Levi-Strauss, Milan Kundera, David Hockney, Picasso, Matisse, Ginsberg ("A Supermarket in California," in particular), Roberto Bolano, and quite a few others I'm forgetting.
La exiguidad biografica domena la informacion disponible sobre Milan Kundera, coadyuvada por la eidetica de su noesis novelesca y su reluctancia, insita a su personalidad, a conceder entrevistas: "Hace tiempo tome una decision: nunca mas una entrevista.
The artist was closer to those who disagreed, among them novelist Milan Kundera, who considered the "unbearable" possibility of no recurrence at all.
A brilliant article in the June issue of the American weekly journal The Nation by Jana Prikryl recounted the reporting process that lead to a story in the Czech political weekly Respekt, which claimed Milan Kundera informed on another man, Miroslav Dvoracek, during the communist era.
Previous recipients of the Jerusalem prize include authors such as Nobel laureates JM Coetzee and VS Naipaul along with Arthur Miller, Mario Vargas Llosa and Milan Kundera.
THE vein Skvorecky mines in Ordinary Lives is rich, and it runs parallel with other seams of gold staked out by similarly gifted prospectors, Milan Kundera being one.
Milan Kundera once paraphrased Marx: "Optimism is the opium of the people.
BIRTHDAYS Milan Kundera, novelist, 79; George Baker, actor, 77; Debbie Reynolds, actress, 76; Ali MacGraw, actress, 70; Jimmy Cliff, singer, 60; Gil Scott-Heron, poet and musician, 59; Barry Sonnenfeld, film director, 55; David Gower, broadcaster and former cricketer, 51; Phillip Schofield, TV presenter, 46; Chris Evans, DJ/TV presenter, 42; Hannah Spearritt, actress and former singer (S Club 7), (pictured) 27.