On Whether Milan Kundera Is a Homophobic Asshole

03Aug08

In which The Gay Recluse incurs the wrath of Stephanie.

Remember how we took on Milan Kundera for writing homophobic blather in The Curtain, his highly acclaimed book of essays about the art of novel-writing? In which he says that Albertine was “killed” for him when he learned that the Proust character was based on a man? If not, you can read about it here and here.

But guess what: someone named Stephanie who is affiliated with an important university is really upset that we would tarnish the image of such a great writer!

Srsly, what’s up with that?

Did anyone else who read The Curtain have the same reaction as us?

Or is it true — as per Rational Man (Comment #62) — that we are “dwelling on unimportant crap that has no impact on anyone, at least not deeply”?

Ha ha, kill The Gay Recluse!

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4 Responses to “On Whether Milan Kundera Is a Homophobic Asshole”

  1. 1 Kelly

    I have not read the Curtain, but I have read many other Milan Kundera works, and so I was not surprised by your original post about him being a homophobe. His writing also tends toward the misogynistic. I think those two things often go hand in hand…

  2. Thanks Kelly, I completely agree!

  3. 3 I Heart Ryan Reynolds

    Thanks for sticking to your argument against Kundera’s heteronormativity and against Stephanie’s rigid view of sexual identity. Incidentally, I love how Stephanie told you to leave her precious Wesleyan® out of it when, in fact, you had already left Wesleyan® out of it in the most important sense by not disclosing the name of her so-called university. She’s the one who dropped the Wesleyan® brand name. (BTW, Wesleyan? Not an “important university” by most standards. Just an elitist liberal arts college with a handful of graduate programs.) I guess she’s only getting her parents’ money’s worth if your readership knows that her brilliant ideas on sexuality are generated by a mind trained at ₩€$£€¥₳₦.

  4. Thanks for the support, IHEARTRR! I’m obviously not about to disagree with anything you say. I also found it interesting that she agreed with my implicit assessment of Kundera as a closet-case, but was unwilling to make the jump to homophobe, when the two are invariably linked. Plus you always know people are on very shaky ground when they’re like: oh, you can’t possibly equate homophobia with racism etc etc etc. But all of that said, I was encouraged that we seemed to find a little common ground, although I would probably hesitate to define it!


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