Zavis Kalandra

In The Art of Fiction David Lodge talks about  the refusal of Paul Eluard, then one of the world’s most renowned Communist poets, to intervene on behalf of his friend, Zavis Kalandra, a surrealist who was executed by the new, revolutionary Czech government. Lodge tells about Milan Kundera describing a day in June of 1950 when the ‘streets of Prague were once again ‘crowded with young people dancing….’ The day before, a Socialist politician and a surrealist artist were hanged, ‘as enemies of the state.’”

Lodge quotes Milan Kundra’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting:

…Prague with its cafes full of poets and its jails full of traitors, and in the crematorium they were just finishing off one Socialist representative and one surrealist, and the smoke climbed to the heavens like a good omen, and I heard Eluard’s metallic voice intoning,

Love is at work it is tireless 

 

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