Cover Osteuropa 5-6/2023

In Osteuropa 5-6/2023

The Frenchman among the Central Europeans
Milan Kundera (April 1, 1929 – July 11, 2023)

Alfrun Kliems

Deutsche Fassung


Milan Kundera’s novels combine a sense of the fragile and tragic with a robust affirmation of life. They are full of ambivalence and contradictions. Deadly seriousness alternates with irony. Aesthetic purpose is paired with lightness. Aphorisms that stand next to philosophical excursions – against kitsch, against idyll, nostalgia, forgetting. Kundera was always accompanied by accusations of being an erotomaniac who saw only the male perspective. This is not wrong, but in totalitarian times, he was above all concerned with a counter-force to the impositions of crude collectivism. Born in the Czech city of Brno and living in exile since 1975, Kundera died in Paris in July 2023.

(Osteuropa 5-6/2023, pp. 5–12)