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Kundera’s Life is Elsewhere sees first Czech-language edition published in Czech Republic

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Brno, June 22 (CTK) – Czech writer Milan Kundera’s novel Life Is Elsewhere appears for the first time in the Czech Republic, Jana Uhdeova, from the Atlantis publishers that launched it on Tuesday, told journalists yesterday.
The novel from the end of the 1960s and beginning of the 1970s was published in the French translation in 1973.
The only Czech edition was produced by the Sixty-Eight Publishers, a publishing house of Czechoslovak writers in exile in Toronto, in 1979.
Due to this, the novel is hardly accessible in the Czech Republic.
The book describes the fates of a naive poet upon the background of social developments in Czechoslovakia.
“The topic of the novel is existential. It is the topic of lyricism,” Kundera wrote about his second novel.
“I was interested in the revolutionary lyricism of Communist terror because it cast an unexpected revealing light on man’s secular penchant,” he added.
Kundera, 87, has been living in France since 1975. He has been writing his books in French, not entrusting them to Czech translators.
In the past years, Atlantis has published his essays in Czech dealing with writer Franz Kafka or composer Leos Janacek.
Kundera does not travel to his native country and only exceptionally comments on the events in the Czech Republic.
Recently he signed a petition in support of building a new concert hall in Brno.

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