However much we are inundated with bad news, it never ceases to surprise us. This time it came with the Czech weekly Respekt, which reported that in 1950 Milan Kundera informed the police on a person who was later sentenced to 22 years in prison. It came as a shock to me not because – like so many others – I admire Kundera as an author of novels and essays; I also know him personally. I have corresponded with him for several years on the subject of publishing Slovak translations of his French books. Respecting Kundera’s privacy, up until now I have been discrete about our correspondence and personal contact. The events of the last days have changed my position on this.
The way the affair has been presented to the world public is mind-boggling. The fact that Kundera himself learned about the allegations from the press is another great failure of journalistic decency. The insensitivity and arrogance of the authors of the article that provoked the scandal left me horrified. They start dramatically: “Milan Kundera has always carefully covered his tracks. He has given no interviews for the past quarter of a century. He visits his native country only incognito.”
more from Eurozine here.