Skip to main content

World-famous writer and Brno native Milan Kundera has passed away

It was with sadness that we received the news that writer Milan Kundera died in his Paris flat on Tuesday, 11 July, at the age of 94. Born in Brno, he had lived in France since 1975.

Milan Kundera Library in the Moravian Library in Brno.

In the 1990s, the MU Scientific Board voted to award this world-renowned literary figure an honorary doctorate. Unfortunately, this happened at a time when Kundera was refusing any awards from his native country. Hence, the ceremony never took place.

“Milan Kundera visited the MU Rector's Office several times when Milan Jelínek was rector. The rectors from the 1990s – Milan Jelínek, Eduard Schmidt, and myself – thought highly of Kundera, and we felt badly that he did not receive the award at that time,” said Jiří Zlatuška, MU rector from 1998 to 2004.

Milan Kundera donated his library with its extensive archive to the Moravian Library in Brno in 2022. It contains his works arranged by individual titles in editions in fifty different languages. Most of the collection consists of novels, essays, plays, and poetry from the early period of Milan Kundera's work. However, the library also contains shorter texts such as prefaces, introductions, epilogues, and annotations found in the works of other authors. The collection also includes periodicals in which Milan Kundera published. In addition to Milan Kundera's own works, the collection also includes scholarly works about him and his writings. The opening ceremony took place on Kundera's birthday – 1 April 2023.

“Milan Kundera's personal wish was that the library should serve the public and especially students. Our mission is to spread his legacy and fame,” said Anna Mrázová, spokesperson for the Moravian Library.