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Biography paints author in bearable lightness

By Fang Aiqing | China Daily | Updated: 2022-05-27 07:51
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Milan Kundera, the Czech-born writer. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Jing Kaixuan, translator of the 1987 version of Kundera's Farewell Waltz and the 1989 version of Life Is Elsewhere, said during a 2014 interview that it's the philosophy in Kundera's works that makes him a world-class writer. He notes that Kundera touches upon many issues of great value and discusses them in depth.

Kundera also inspires Chinese readers to turn their attention to Central and Eastern European literature and thoughts as an alternative to Western modernist works, Jing said. He himself has translated several works of Czech writer Ivan Klima.

Kundera was born in Brno in the former Czechoslovakia, today part of the Czech Republic, in 1929. He learned to play the piano at a young age from his father, a renowned pianist, but in college majored in literature and aesthetics, before transferring to film direction and script writing.

He rose to fame with his first full-length novel, The Joke, published in 1967.

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