PRAGUE: Czech-born author Milan Kundera, creator of the novel “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” who lived almost 5 a long time in Paris after emigrating in disillusionment from his Communist-ruled homeland, has died on the age of 94.
The Moravian Library (MZK) within the Czech metropolis of Brno, which homes Kundera’s private assortment, mentioned he died in his Paris house on Tuesday after a protracted sickness.
Kundera gained world accolades for the best way he depicted themes and characters that floated between the mundane actuality of on a regular basis life and the lofty world of concepts.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala mentioned his works “reached whole generations of readers across all continents” whereas President Petr Pavel referred to as him a “world-class writer”.
“With his fate in life, he symbolized the eventful history of our country in the 20th century,” Pavel mentioned. “Kundera’s legacy will live on in his works.”
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne mentioned Kundera was “a writer and a voice that we will miss”.
“Milan Kundera’s work is at the same time a deep, human, intimate and distant exploration,” she mentioned.
Kundera was born in Brno in 1929 however emigrated to France in 1975 after being ostracised for criticising the 1968 Soviet invasion of Communist Czechoslovakia that crushed the Prague Spring liberal reform motion.
He not often gave interviews, believing writers ought to communicate by way of their work, and lived out of the general public eye.
Fellow Czech author Karel Hvizdala instructed Czech Tv he noticed his pal final November and he was already ill.
“I remember that on his hospital bed, which he had at home, he only had one book – ‘The Plague’ by Albert Camus,” he mentioned.
‘Delicate contrasts’
Kundera’s first novel, “The Joke”, was printed in 1967 and supplied a scathing portrayal of the Czechoslovak Communist regime and the ruling get together of which he was nonetheless a member.
He finally deserted hopes that the get together might be reformed in a democratic path, and moved to France. 4 years later, he was stripped of his Czechoslovak citizenship.
He instructed the French each day Le Monde in 1976 that to name his works political was to oversimplify, and due to this fact obscure their true significance, however his books typically took a political tone.
“The Book of Laughter and Forgetting” (1979) was a narrative written in seven elements that confirmed the ability of totalitarian regimes to erase elements of historical past and create an alternate previous – a piece that the New York Occasions referred to as “genius” in its overview.
His greatest recognized e-book, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (1984), centered on the Prague Spring and its turbulent demise with Czechs despairing of totalitarianism’s grip retreating into obscure non-public lives or emigrating to the West.
It was made into a movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Juliette Binoche and directed by Philip Kaufman in 1988, incomes two Academy Award nominations.
Oxford College professor Timothy Garton Ash, creator and historian centered on central Europe, mentioned Kundera “did so much to implant the idea and culture of Central Europe into the imagination of the world”.
Kundera as soon as instructed an interviewer he thought-about himself French relatively than an emigre. He wrote later novels in French.
Le Monde referred to as him a “tireless defender of the novel” in reporting his demise.
“Undoubtedly the most European of writers, he impersonated the subtle contrasts of our world,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo mentioned.
After the 1989 Velvet Revolution that peacefully overthrew Czechoslovakia’s Communist regime and ushered in pro-Western democracy, Kundera solely not often made public visits dwelling however would quietly go to family and friends.
He regained Czech citizenship in 2019.