Tuesday, October 14, 2008

without secrecy, nothing is possible

Did a young Milan Kundera play informer for the Czech police?

The allegations could diminish Mr. Kundera’s moral stature as a spokesman, however enigmatic, against totalitarianism’s corrosion of daily life.

The reclusive Mr. Kundera vehemently denied the account.

“I object in the strongest manner to these accusations, which are pure lies,” he said in a statement released by his French publisher, Gallimard.

In a rare interview on Monday with the Czech CTK news agency, Mr. Kundera also accused the news media of committing “the assassination of an author.”

The story is the most dramatic recent episode in Eastern Europe’s fitful reckoning with its Communist past, an era that Czechs, with their soft Velvet Revolution against the Soviet system, have been loath to explore deeply.