Two messages

I remember those days too. I remember their atmosphere. It is not easy to explain. Looking back, I find it hard to understand myself and sometimes my own past actions surprise me and make me blush. For example, how could I have used the term socialist literature even though I must have known that it’’s nonsense and that no such thing as a socialist or capitalist literature could possibly exist? How could I have said things in public that I did not believe in private? I happened to see the new Czech film Tobruk yesterday. And for the hundredth time,  […]

Relations at an all-time low

Slovak-Hungarian relations and the atmosphere between the two nations have been through one of their worst weeks in recent history.The Slovak Minister of Education (Slovak National Party) insists that Hungarian children in Slovakia must learn all geographic names in Slovak. The Romanian Euro-MP László Tőkés used the opportunity of a one-minute speech to inform the European Parliament that the Hungarian minority in Slovakia suffers humiliation and lives in constant fear. Slovak media reported his speech as the main event of the day. The Chairman of the Slovak National Party, part of the ruling coalition, has now shed the last vestiges of […]

Informing under terror

  We all had the chance to read a document that says that the student Milan Kundera, born on such and such a date, came to the police station and reported that a friend of his had confided in him that his girlfriend had confided in him that a certain acquaintance of hers by the name of Miroslav Dvořáček had asked her to store his  suitcase. This was followed by a search of the dormitory room of the girl who agreed to store the suitcase, Miroslav Dvořáček’’s arrest and eventually his trial that ended with a twenty-year prison sentence. The […]

The Saddest of Jokes

Milan Kundera has always carefully covered his tracks. He has given no interviews for the past quarter of a century. He visits his native country only incognito and stays in hotels under assumed names. He has sworn his Czech friends to silence, so not even they are willing to speak to journalists about who Milan Kundera is and was. A murky and convoluted story has now accidentally surfaced from the past of the best known Czech writer. It indicates that there may be other reasons for his reclusiveness than we previously imagined. The fourteenth of March 1950. Two years have […]

The Owner of the Key

Kundera’’s misdeed of half a century ago that cruelly marred the lives of several people will have an impact on the interpretation of his oeuvre That record of an act of denunciation contained in a police report lay hidden for over fifty years in heaps of files. Found by chance, it has enabled us to uncover a story dating back to 1950, in which the destinies of two young people of the same generation crossed just once. One of them went to jail for many years while the other went on to become a world-famous author. In 1949 Miroslav Dvořáček […]