The Franz Kafka Prize 2019 for Pierre Michon
The Franz Kafka Society is proud to announce that the 19th laureate of the prestigious Franz Kafka Prize is the French writer Pierre Michon.
On Monday, June 10, 2019, at its annual meeting at the seat of the Franz Kafka Society in Prague, the international jury selected a new laureate of the Franz Kafka International Literary Prize for the year 2019, the French writer Pierre Michon.
Pierre Michon called his latest award “a successful metamorphosis” and added: “What about this wonderful surprise? Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, of course. To tell you that to see me succeed to Václav Havel, Nádas, Jelinek, Handke and Magris, and especially to Roth and Yan Lianke, gives me a lot of pride, perhaps even vanity. That I do not know Prague, that I will greet the bridges, the river, the houses where Kafka wrote, the cemeteries. That I will have less joyful memories of old pyres, the black Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia, the good red tanks of 1944 that a black magic stroke changes into bloody chariots in the Spring. That I will meet you in joy to drive out these black ideas.”
The newly selected laureate continued: “I was a high school student when I read La Métamorphose, and nothing in Kafka's work has since surpassed this perfect news. The Kafka Prize metamorphoses me, too. It is not a nuisance that changes me, like poor Gregor. It makes me grow feathered hands and wings. A pigeon from the Old Town Square? A chouca, kavka? No, a bird wise, finch or linnet, serious winner in an ornithological competition.”
Pierre Michon will travel to Prague in the fall to attend the traditional award ceremony in the Brožík Hall of the Old Town Hall.