Story Tools: EMAIL | PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK | Bookmark and Share

Milan Kundera skips hometown conference on his work

Last Updated: Saturday, May 30, 2009 | 12:30 PM ET

Czech-born author Milan Kundera has failed to show up at a conference about his work in his hometown of Brno.

The writer, based in Paris, is rarely seen in public and seldom visits his home country.

Officials at Brno's Masaryk University said the event was the first international conference on Kundera to be held in the Czech Republic.

Scholars and translators from as far away as the U.S., France, Iceland and Italy have converged in the southern Czech town.

Kundera sent a tongue-in-cheek letter to organizers for holding a "necrophile party" for three days starting Friday.

He said in the message, which was read out at the launch, that he "sees himself as a French writer and insists his work should be studied as French literature and classified as such in book stores."

Became a French citizen, writes in French

Kundera left the former Czechoslovakia for France in 1975 and became a French citizen in 1981.

The last book he wrote in the Czech language was 1990's Immortality.

Since then, Kundera has only published his books in French, and had until recently forbidden Czech editors from publishing his books in their language.

His previous works include The Joke (1967), The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979) and The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), which was made into a movie in 1988 starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Lena Olin, and Juliette Binoche.

Kundera, who turned 80 on April 1, did not return to his homeland last year pick up the Czech National Prize for Literature due to health problems.

Story Tools: EMAIL | PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK | Bookmark and Share


More Books Headlines

Milan Kundera skips hometown conference on his work
Czech-born author Milan Kundera has failed to show up at a conference about his work in his hometown of Brno.
Secrets surround 1st Murakami novel in 5 years
The first novel in five years by critically acclaimed modern writer Haruki Murakami hits bookstores in Japan on Friday.
Archie shocker: Comic book hero picks Veronica
In what's being billed the "Archie Story of the Century," perennially indecisive loverboy Archie Andrews has finally chosen the raven-haired Veronica Lodge over sunny girl-next-door Betty Cooper, according to the official Archie Comics website.
Nino Ricci, Pasha Malla up for Trillium Book Awards
Nino Ricci's Origin of Species and Pasha Malla's The Withdrawal Method are among the finalists for this year's Trillium Book Awards.
On-demand book publishing booms in 2008
The U.S. publishing industry passed a key marker last year, with the publication of more "on-demand" or short-run titles than traditional books, a U.S. bilbliograhic company says.

More Arts Headlines

N.W.T. leaders seek help to stop knockoffs of northern art
Dene leaders in the Northwest Territories, as well as those who appreciate northern art, are calling for help in protecting northern artists from cheap knockoffs of their work.
Rome's Ara Pacis museum hit by vandals
The Ara Pacis museum, a controversial modern museum in central Rome, has been hit by vandals with paint-filled balloons.
Twilight wins, Bruno-Eminem blow-up highlight MTV Movie Awards
Teen vampire drama Twilight may have dominated the podium at Sunday night's irreverent MTV Movie Awards, but edgy British comedy actor Sacha Baron Cohen stole the night with a skit that sent rapper Eminem storming out of the ceremony.
Film technicians lobby to reopen Toronto Film Studios
A film industry union has launched a campaign to reopen the Toronto Film Studios.
Van Cliburn piano contest unveils final six contenders
Young Asian musicians — including a blind 20-year-old virtuoso who's become a fan-favourite — dominate the list of finalists heading into the last round of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the 13th edition of which is taking place in Texas.

People who read this also read …

Top CBCNews.ca Headlines


1 Canadian on passenger list of missing Air France jet Video
Airline officials said Monday they fear the worst after an Air France jetliner carrying more than 200 people to Paris from Brazil went missing after running into thunderstorms and turbulence over the Atlantic Ocean.
Car giant GM files for bankruptcy protection Video
General Motors Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in court in New York City on Monday, a move that will clear the way for a sweeping reshaping of the iconic company.
Canada, Ontario commit $10.5B to revamped GM
Saying it was judged to be too risky not to participate in the restructuring of General Motors, the governments of Canada and Ontario will contribute about $10.5 billion in financial aid to the automaker.
Guantanamo judge refuses Khadr's request to dismiss U.S. lawyers
Canadian Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr asked a judge Monday to dismiss his U.S. lawyers because he said he has lost trust in them after seeing their squabbling over his case.
Passports, please: New border rules take effect Video
Border guards began requesting passports as Canadians crossed into the United States on Monday as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative officially took effect just after midnight.