Habent sua fata libelli—”books have their own fates.” It will be interesting to know what the fate of Milan Kundera’s first novel, The Joke, will be in the United States, now that it has at last been published in English in its full, nonmutilated version. When it was issued here many years ago, an American publisher reprinted the abridged and edited British version, which evoked an angry public protest from Kundera. Penguin then published a partly restored version...
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