Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Renowned Czech Writer Milan Kundera Passes Away at 94

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Table of Contents

Milan Kundera, a highly influential Czech writer of the previous century, passed away in Paris at the age of 94. Anna Mrázová, spokesperson for the Moravian Library in Brno, confirmed this information to ČTK. Kundera had resided in France since 1975 and also wrote in French. The Czech ambassador in Paris stated that Kundera expressed a desire to be laid to rest in his hometown of Brno. Some of Kundera’s most renowned works include novels like “The Joke,” “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” and the collection of short stories titled “Ridiculous Loves.”

According to MZK (Moravian Library in Brno), the Czech-born writer passed away on Tuesday in his Paris apartment after battling a prolonged illness. The date of his death was confirmed by the French publisher Gallimard in a statement quoted by Reuters. Gallimard had been responsible for publishing Kundera’s works in France.

Kundera played a prominent role during the political upheaval of the 1960s and was among those banned from publishing their works following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. After emigrating to France in 1975, he became a key author associated with the Paris-based publishing house Gallimard. His works were published in Czech by Škvorecký’s 68 Publishers, an exile publishing house.

Despite visiting Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic multiple times after November 1989, Kundera continued to reside in Paris alongside his wife, Vera. Since the 1980s, he had been writing his books in French, leading some members of the public to perceive him as a French author with Czech origins. In 1979, he was stripped of his Czech citizenship, which was only restored in 2019.

Kundera was one of the most widely translated Czech authors, with his works published in fifty-four languages and more than three thousand editions worldwide, as stated by MZK. The writer was frequently speculated as a potential candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature. A notable literary honor bestowed upon him was the inclusion of his work in Gallimard’s prestigious La Pléiade series in 2011.

A book of condolences will be available at the Czech embassy in Paris from Friday to Tuesday, as announced by Czech Ambassador to France Michal Fleischmann, as reported by Czech Radio. Fleischmann mentioned that the specific dates were still being arranged. He also expressed the possibility of holding an exhibition featuring Kundera’s drawings, which were recently showcased at the Czech Centre in Paris. However, the consent of the late writer’s wife, Věra Kundera, would be necessary for such an event, as stated by the ambassador. Fleischmann also informed Radiožurnál that Kundera’s wife conveyed his wish to be buried in Brno, his birthplace.

Jiří Hnilica, director of the Czech Centre in Paris, shared that an exhibition showcasing a comprehensive overview of Kundera’s life is currently on display. Hnilica further noted that the centre’s collections encompass the writer’s entire body of work.

most viewed

Subscribe Now