Milan Kundera became this year’s laureate of Czech National Literature Prize. And he has also other primacy – in the modern history, there has never been awarded anyone, who wouldn’t pick it up.
Milan Kundera, born 1929 in former Czechoslovakia, is a Czech-born writer who has written books in both Czech and French. He is best known as the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, and The Joke.
The gala evening with the prize presentation, handed over with 10 000€, takes place on 25th October. The expatriate, nowadays in France living writer is hoverer not going to pick it up. The same situation repeats as
in 1994, when he gained prestigious Jaroslav Seifert prize, for his novel Nesmrtelnost (Immortality), Kundera excepted the prize, but haven’t picked up. In his explanatory letter he wrote he would like to donate the prize, together with the monetary award, to memory of the Czech poet, Jan Skacel.
Foreign readers hesitate, if he is still a Czech author, or if he is already a French one. In the 90s Kundera started to write his novels in French, so there are still some pieces that haven’t been published in Czech. Kundera gradually translates into Czech just his essays.
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