A recent Economist story has made me very sad, indeed. It did not involve the economy, but Czech author Milan Kundera (b. 4/1/29) who moved to France to escape the censorship of the Communist government. Kundera’s most popular book has been The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which deals with of identity and love and betrayal, also touches on his recurrent theme of lives clouded by totalitarianism. Ironically or logically enough, now similar charges are being brought against Kundera in his youth. Per the Economist:
“The story of Miroslav Dvoracek, a Czech spy for the West, would fit well into a Kundera novel. Caught by the secret police in 1950 while on an undercover mission to Prague, he was tortured and then served 14 years in a labour camp. He was lucky not to be executed. He has spent nearly six decades believing that a childhood friend called Iva Militka betrayed him; he had unwisely contacted her during his clandestine trip. Similarly, she has always blamed herself for talking too freely about her visitor to student friends. Now a police record found by Adam Hradilek, a historian at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, in Prague, suggests that it was one of those friends, the young Mr Kundera, who was the informer.”
Could this the face of a backstabber?
What if this betrayal of his youth, betrayed his ability to write better and deeper novels?