30 December 2008

Milan Kundera

In the conference I mentioned in my last post, Jan Rubeš of Brussels talked about "Czech writer Milan Kundera, who has been living in France since 1975 and who in the early 1990s started to write in French. Rubeš explained that, through this other language, Kundera’s themes and language, as well as his inspiration, had changed." The question that comes up is: was this good or bad? Do we prefer the Kundera writing in Czech (The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 1984) or in French (Identity, 1998)? Is anything lost or added by the French language to the Czech writing? Some kind of change is clear, but is it change for the better or for the worse?

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