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Within the firm of Milan Kundera


Le Monde’s journalist Florence Noiville met the French-Czech novelist on a number of events. He died on Tuesday, July 11.

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Milan Kundera drew. He portrayed playful beings with elastic limbs, stretched like chewing gum, whom he depicted with a flower in his hand or dancing a jig on the globe’s floor. His mates generally acquired these small sketches on Bristol board within the mail. Facetious winks. Kundera and I preferred to speak about artwork and portray. Rembrandt, Wifredo Lam. And much more about music. He recounted how, when he was a baby in Moravia, his father Ludvik, a pianist, musicologist, and former rector of the Brno Academy of Music, had shared his ardour with him from an early age. Pianist Alfred Brendel as soon as informed me in London that, when it got here to musical evaluation, Kundera was “one of many sharpest minds he had ever encountered.”

All it took was a point out of his compatriot Leos Janacek (1854-1928) for him to burst into flames: “From the Home of the Useless – I am in love with this opera.” He defined how, in all his work, Janacek had not solely sought to “eliminate rhythmic, melodic or metrical stereotypes” however how he had tried to “perceive the enigma of musical semantics” and “the psychological vocabulary of intonation.” “He wished to seize human feelings. He even famous his dying daughter’s final sigh. It was a descending minor third…”

Invisible forces and Czech grammar

Typically we had lunch. “Let’s chew,” his spouse Vera would say, laughing. We might meet in Paris, at Le Récamier, or close to Le Touquet, northern France, the place the Kunderas spent their summers. Vera would introduce me to the mysteries of her pendulum – she believed in invisible forces – and Milan to these of Czech grammar. Milan, Milanek, Milanka…

Sooner or later, I arrived with a quantity of Beckett’s Letters. The guide had simply come out, and he was virtually irritated. “Publishing a author’s correspondence? Nothing may very well be extra despicable. What is the level of understanding that his lung is best or that he could have cataract surgical procedure when what pursuits me is Endgame and Worstward Ho?” The biography didn’t add something, he saved saying, fairly the alternative. That’s the reason he and Vera had put their letters by way of the shredder: “To keep away from the sniffer canine.” All that mattered was the work. The work. The work. Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902-1991) as soon as stated, “While you’re ravenous, it is the bread that counts. Not the baker’s life.”

Because of this, for over 30 years, Kundera refused to be interviewed. He hated journalists who rewrote, misunderstood and over-interpreted. He recounted how, in the future, whereas in search of a reputation for a personality, Vera whispered: “Why not Berck? After the title of the coastal city close to their house in northern France. They’d come again from there, it had simply come out. “Properly, consider it or not, one critic managed to elucidate that there was no likelihood there and that this title alone spoke volumes about my disgusted notion of the world!” He laughed. Bitterly. “By no means once more. That is firmly determined.” Some had tried to get him to vary his thoughts. However he was rigid. “All of the solutions are in my books.”

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