Milan Kundera

Richard Lea and Sian Cain “Milan Kundera: The Unbearable Lightness of Being author dies aged 94”
Andrew Limbong “Milan Kundera, who wrote 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being,' dies at 94”
Ruth Comerford “Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, dies aged 94”


“Like all great writers, Milan Kundera leaves indelible marks on his readers’ imaginations,” Salman Rushdie told the Guardian. “‘The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.’ Ever since I read this sentence in his The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, it has remained with me, and illuminated my understanding of events all over the world.

“Later, a second idea of his, that the novel descended from two parents, Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa and Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, gave me a valuable way to think about my own literary parentage – definitely on the Shandean side of the family tree,” the novelist added. “A third concept, that of the ‘lightness of being’, warned us that life allows us no revisions or second drafts, and this could be ‘unbearable’, but it could also be liberating.”

Kate Webb “Milan Kundera obituary”


n December 1968, a plane carrying Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes touched down in Prague. The two authors had come to show solidarity with Czechoslovakia’s writers and to discuss the year’s historic events: how the hopes of Alexander Dubcek’s Prague Spring had ebbed into the interminable autumn of the Soviet patriarch.

Their host was the Czech novelist and essayist Milan Kundera, who has died aged 94. Mindful of the need to talk freely, Kundera took his guests to a sauna, the one place in the city impossible to bug. As the steam rose and their bodies began to overheat, the visitors asked where they might sluice off the sweat. The Czech led them to a back door opening on to a hole in the frozen Vltava. He motioned towards the river and they clambered down, expecting him to follow. But Kundera remained on the bank, laughing as these hothouse flowers of Latin-American literature emerged like popsicles from the icy waters.

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