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The Labyrinth of Central Europe and the Paradise of Milan Kundera’s “Ignorance”

February 16, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

This presentation focuses on Milan Kundera’s concept of Central Europe, tracing it from his influential essay The Tragedy of Central Europe (1984) to his novel Ignorance (2000), in which he re-evaluates his concept based not on post-1989 realities, but rather on his own novelistic goals. No longer privileging the region’s central location, Kundera redefines its state of in-betweenness, to one of geographic and cultural fluidity, and by extension he reinvents the adventure that lies ahead of the Central European novel.



Hana Pichova is Associate Professor in the UNC Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages. She specializes in twentieth century Czech and Russian prose. Most of her published work focuses on literature in exile, specifically on how memory functions in Kundera’s and Nabokov’s works. Recently she has been pursuing an interest in how Czech literature refracts various cultural and architectural events that occurred in Czechoslovakia after WW II.


The Carolina Seminar: Russia and Its Emipres, East and West is co-sponsored by the Carolina Seminar Program, the UNC Department of History, and the Duke Council for European Studies. Please note that the participants will give an overview of their projects, but will not read a formal paper. Instead, papers or book chapters will be posted here ahead of time for those who are interested in attending and participating in the discussion.


February 16, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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