Cover Osteuropa 5/2007

In Osteuropa 5/2007

In Foreign Tongues
Milan Kundera’s and Andreï Makine’s French Prose

Maria Rubins

Deutsche Fassung


The trans-European identity of bilingual authors such as Milan Kundera and Andreï Makine forces us to reconsider the conventional categories of “East” and “West” or “foreign” and “native”. Both authors have exchanged their homeland for exile; both write novels and essays in French. Their belonging to the European tradition combines with a distanced, “eastern” view of French culture, society and media. Kundera resists being classified as a Czech patriot and author. Instead, by means of intertextual references, he stresses the transnational element of his work. Makine presents himself as writer and prophet in the tradition of Tolstoi and Dostoevskii and exposes cultural and historical myths.

(Osteuropa 5/2007, pp. 169–188)