In the last twenty years, the Czech-born writer Milan Kundera has written four novels in his second language, French: La lenteur, L’identité, L’ignorance, and La fête de l’insignifiance. This article examines how Kundera transposes his particular authorial style from his Czech language texts to his French novels and, in doing so, provides a subtly subversive reading of the norms of French novelistic language and style. Kundera’s French writing has been read as a straightforward homage to, and embrace of, French literature and culture, but this article suggests that Kundera’s translingual novels interrogate his second language and culture through a deliberate rewriting of normative domestic style and through a questioning of the vibrancy of French literary culture.


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pp. 427-443
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