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Kundera To Be Awarded Brno Honorary Citizen Title

Kundera und Kurt Barthel
Kundera und Kurt Barthel

Famous and globally praised Czech born writer Milan Kundera who was forced to move into France in 1974 and has been living there since then will be awarded honorary citizenship of his Moravian hometown Brno. The city council has made such a decision in order to appreciate his literary efforts and recognition.

Milan Kundera is widely known not only as a novelist and playwright, but he also proved to be a talented poet and excellent translator. Throughout the years of the Communist regime his works were, in fact, prohibited in his native Czechoslovakia.

His best works including novels The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1982, first published in 1984), The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979), and The Joke (1967) was created and published in France where he lived in relative solitude. Since 1990 he began to write in French only. His latest collection of essays named Une rencontre (A meeting) was published in March 2009.

During his long creative activity Milan Kundera was awarded number of prestigious literary awards and other prizes, including the Simone and Cino Del Duca Foundation World Prize for his contribution to promoting ideas of humanism that he was honored in June this year in Paris.

City of Brno awards its honorary citizenship once in four years. Roman Onderka, the city’s Mayor, reported that Mr. Kundera, who is 80 now, confirmed his willingness to accept this honour but due to his health condition would be unlikely to arrive at Brno in person to take part in the ceremony scheduled for January 26, 2010. Mr. Onderka expressed his readiness to go to France in order to award his famous fellow countryman.

Photo: Kundera und Kurt Barthel, Berlin 1954, by Guenter Weiss, Deutsches Bundesarchiv (

Date: 09/12/2009

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