Reports emerged the other day that Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, has been accused of shopping a “western” Czech spy to the commies…

The allegations come after the release of a police report from Prague, 1950, stating that a student called Milan Kundera had come forward to the police with details of a clandestine meeting between two “dissidents”, and also detailing the whereabouts of one of them; leading directly to his arrest and subsequent 14 years hard labor in a gulag.

I’ve been following the story at the Guardian website, and I’ll let you get all the nitty-gritty-actually-researched-and-fact-checked details direct from there.

Kundera, of course, denies the allegations; claiming he knew nothing of the event until he was told about it this week, and goes on to say that it’s the “assassination of an author”.  Now, The Unbearable Lightness of Being is one of my favourite books - Top 5 quality, even - so I’m rooting for dear ol’ Milan and hoping the allegations prove to be false, but it does beg the question: who would want to “assassinate” a 79 year old author?  And on closer inspection it appears Mr, Kundera has behaved mightily suspiciously in the past - particularly when visiting his native country, and he’s sworn all his Czech friends to secrecy; so very little is known about the man’s life there…

So, are the Reds back under the beds, or is the report genuine?  Will more cultural icons of the ’50s be “exposed” in similar smear campaigns, or is Milan just a sneaky, treacherous numpty? I await the story’s resolution with interest…