Lost In Translation

Decades ago, when Czechs wanted to read their country's most famous author, Milan Kundera, they often had to resort to samizdat — the clandestine copying and distribution of government-suppressed literature or other media in Soviet-bloc countries. Now those who want to read him in his mother tongue are still consulting pirate versions — not because of censorship, but because of Kundera's perfectionism.

The 77-year-old, who wrote his last three novels in French, insists on translating them into Czech himself — and he's in no hurry. So when one impatient anonymous literary toiler posted an illegal translation...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!