The Birdcage Archives

Thursday 24 September 2020

Milan Kundera Wins Franz Kafka Prize

Hello Gentle Reader, 

Milan Kundera, the famous dissident Czech writer, who was expelled from the then Soviet Allied communist Czechoslovakia during the mid-Twentieth Century, was awarded the Franz Kafka Prize earlier this week.  What may be considered just another run of the mill prize, or another literary prize as a feather in the cap of the writer; the Franz Kafka Prize is a symbolic gesture from Czechia to Milan Kundera, as the two have had a drought relationship over the past half century. 
After his expulsion from the Soviet Satellite State, Milan Kundera lived in exile in France, and began to write and publish his work in French. In return the then Czechoslovakian government banned publication and circulation of his work, which they deemed morally corrupt, and not meeting the pre-approved party standards of the Communist Government. Furthermore, they revoked Kundera's citizenship. 
Even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Velvet Revolution, and the dissolution of the former Soviet Union; the relationship between Milan Kundera and the now democratic state of Czechia, remained fraught with unresolved differences. Kundera refused his work from being published in the newly democratic country; and Czechia did not completely welcome Kundera in returning to the country, or grant him his citizenship back; despite being one of the most renowned contemporary Czech writers on the global stage, who has also been a perennial contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature, until recently. 
Now 91 years old, and after small gestures of reconciliation between the writer and nation; Milan Kundera has decided to joyfully accept the Franz Kafka Prize without hesitation. To award the writer the prize is being considered a monumental move in Czech Literature, as Kundera has been one of the most famous, renowned, and appreciated Czech writers at work on the global stage. Receiving the Franz Kafka Prize for Kundera is as much as homecoming as it is when the Czech writer reinstated his Czech Citizenship last year. In return Milan Kundera has donated his personal papers to: The Moravian Library, in Brno. 
Congratulations to the Milan Kundera on receiving the Franz Kafka Prize. A well-deserved honour. 
Thank-you for Reading Gentle Reader 
Take Care 
And As Always 
Stay Well Read 
M. Mary 

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