Literary Gossip: Milan Kundera An Informer?

by |
10/14/2008 11:30 AM |

Everyone dust off your variations of “THE UNBEARABLE BETRAYAL” headline, because yesterday, Milan Kundera was accused of selling out a Western spy to the Commies in the 1950s! The Czech-born Kundera, famed author of international best-seller and cool-to-say-you-like-it The Unbearable Lightness of Being, was known for satirizing Communism in his novels. So this is a whoops! Or maybe not? He’s likening the accusations to “assassination.” Says the London Independent:

The reclusive Kundera, now 79, categorically denied the accusation yesterday,
accusing the institute and media of “the assassination of an author”.
He said: “I am totally astonished by something that I did not expect,
about which I knew nothing only yesterday, and that did not happen. I did
not know the man at all.”

The spy at the centre of the allegation was Miroslav Dvoracek, a young pilot
who fled Czechoslovakia after the 1948 Communist takeover, was recruited in
Germany by US counter-espionage agents and sent back to his homeland.
According to the government-sponsored Czech institute for the Study of
Totalitarian Regimes, Mr Dvoracek visited a woman in Prague and left a
suitcase in her student dormitory. She told her boyfriend, who later told
Kundera, and Kundera, it is claimed, went to the police.

The Times basically has all the same stuff, but this is how they end the story:

The author lives in virtual seclusion, only travels to his former homeland incognito and never speaks to the media.

For some reason that sentence just reads to me as code for for HE TOTALLY DID IT, YA’LL. Developing!

One Comment

  • You beat me to this one. He obviously did it (“pure lies”, “character assassination”, no explanation for how he ended up in the records). I mean, the guy didn’t really lose faith in communism, and his country’s government, until the Soviet invasion in ’68; he was a 21-year-old student at the time he informed. This does put an interesting spin on his writing about repressive regimes writing and rewriting history.

    Oh, and the movie of The Unbearable Lightness of Being is so, so much better than that wildly overrated blowdrier of a novel.