Milan Kundera

(1929 / Brno)

Milan Kundera
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Milan Kundera (born 1 April 1929) is the Czech Republic's most recognised living writer. Of Czech origin, he has lived in exile in France since 1975, having become a naturalised citizen in 1981.

Kundera's best-known work is The Unbearable Lightness of Being. His books were banned by the Communist regimes of Czechoslovakia until the downfall of the regime in the Velvet Revolution of 1989. He lives virtually incognito and rarely speaks to the media. A perennial contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature, he has been nominated on several occasions.

Kundera was born in 1929 at Purkyňova ulice, 6 (6 Purkyňova Street) in Brno, Czechoslovakia, to a middle-class family. His ... more »

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  • We don't know when our name came into being or how some distant ancestor acquired it. We don't understand our name at all, we don't know its history and yet we bear it with exalted fidelity, we merge ...
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. Agnes, in Immortality, pt. 1, ch. 7 (1991).
  • The basis of shame is not some personal mistake of ours, but the ignominy, the humiliation we feel that we must be what we are without any choice in the matter, and that this humiliation is seen by ev...
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. Immortality, pt. 5, ch. 12 (1991).
  • ''I think, therefore I am is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches.''
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czechosolvakian author, critic. Immortality, pt. 4, ch. 11 (1991).
  • If we cannot accept the importance of the world, which considers itself important, if in the midst of that world our laughter finds no echo, we have but one choice: to take the world as a whole and ma...
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. Immortality, pt. 7, ch. 5 (1991).
  • ''Solitude: a sweet absence of looks.''
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. Immortality, pt. 1, ch. 6 (1991).
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