Room Kundera

Stay in a room in Milan Kundera Hostel Mitte Brno.

Pets allowed.

Milan Kundera

Milan Kundera was born on the 1st of April 1929 in Brno. He comes from a family of a distinguished musicologist, pianist and the head of the Janáček Academy of Music Ludvík Kundera. It is documented in his lifelong interest in music; in his youth he even wanted to become a composer rather than a writer. He learned to play piano from his father, later he went on studying musical composition. In 1948 he completed his secondary school studies at a grammar school and after two terms at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University he studied the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (1952), where he then lectured (until 1970) world literature (assistant professor 1958, associate professor 1964).

In 1968, after the reform effort in Czechoslovakia had been suppressed by armies of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, a long controversy occurred between Milan Kundera and Václav Havel, two important intellectuals of that time, about the Czech destiny and significance of the Prague Spring, about the future of democracy.

Milan Kundera has lived in France since 1975, where he first lectured at the University of Rennes, later at École des Hautes Études in Paris. In 1979 he was expatriated and in 1981 he became a french citizen. He wrote in czech for long time, in the end, however, french set in: at first in essays in mid 1980's, since mid 1990's also in his novels. He publishes in the Parisian Gallimard publishing house.

After 1989 he keeps in very sporadic touch with his ex-homeland and many his works have not been published here yet. Kundera is now the most-translated Czech writer. He lives quietly with his wife Věra, he avoids publicity, he very scarcely gives interviews and travels to Czech, what is more he comes incognito. He solicitously conceals details of his life and only mentions a brief CV in his books. He is notorious for his perfectionalism: again and again he precises details of his works and he strictly observes their translations, at least to the languages he masters, first of all to French. Publishing of his works in the Czech Republic controlled by Kundera himself is also very slow particularly because the author has to create final Czech versions based on comparison of scripts, translations and final French versions.

Kundera's top work and also his best-known and most successful novel is The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984). In 1988 it was cinematized in the USA. Kundera, however, was not content with the result and he has never allowed picturization or other adaptation of any of his works since. He has not been giving any interviews since 1985.

In 2007 he was awarded the State Literary Prize which he, however, did not accept in person. In 2009 he received the prestige Cino Del Duca World Prize for his life-work.