Czech prose writer and author of novels, novellas and short stories. He was born in Prague on 8 November 1965.
He trained as a plasterer and while growing up he allegedly showed signs of being “a shy melancholic with a tendency towards discreet sadism”. He repaired facades, worked as a night watchman, an engineer at a sewage works, a heating operator and a gravedigger. He currently receives a disability pension. He was at the birth of the now legendary band, Tři sestry (Three Sisters). As part of a group of regulars at the Na Staré kovárně pub in the Prague district of Braník he set up Branické almanachy (Braník Almanacs). He has been published in the literary magazines Tvar, Vokno and Weles.
He made his literary debut with the novella/parable Příběh o baziliškovi (The Tale of the Basilisk, Artforum, 1992), assuming the raw narrator style of Bohumil Hrabal. This was followed by the novella Veselá bída (Merry Misery, Petrov, 1997). “Kahuda has put together an anatomical atlas of the dark side of Prague, a map of an organism which, although festering and oozing, is more life-giving and healthier than the polished, swaggering, cheaply marketed face of the city. With the thrusts of a frantic stoker Kahuda throws profligate lists of digressions and atrocities into his writing,” wrote Josef Chuchma in a review of the book.
There then followed the similarly styled Exhumace (Exhumation, Petrov, 1998), and his first large, partly autobiographical novel, Houština (Thicket, Petrov, 1999). “His writing really is a thicket of words of fascinatingly magical specificity, revealing a wealth of imagery and mercilessly accurate observations of snatches of life,” wrote Aleš Haman in Lidové noviny. Houština is again reminiscent of Hrabal, though it is more open in its sexual descriptions from early adolescence as well as sketchier in witnessing the disintegration of the narrator’s personality – Kahuda’s alter ego.
A year later Kahuda published a book of two novellas – the first, Příběh o baziliškovi, had been completely sold out after its first publication (for the same reason the publishers had to print another edition of Houština two years after its first publication), and the second novella was Technologií dubnového večera (Technology of an April Evening, Petrov, 2000). This is a plebeian, perverse dialogue between two pub writers.
The novel Proudy (Streams, Petrov, 2001) followed on from the previous work – the author’s sexual openness is not an end in itself, it is related to the Czech underground, it grows out of a boundless imagination and uses original and expansive language so that despite the banal theme it makes for demanding literature.
Readers had to wait thirteen years for Kahuda’s most recent novel, Vítr, tma a přítomnost (Wind, Darkness, Presence, Druhé město, 2014). It is over 700 pages long and is a series of episodic events structured as a detective-like quest concerning the death of the narrator’s grandfather, who disappeared during the Second World War. He plays around with genres, gives his analysis of Czechoslovak society following the November revolution, and there is Kahuda’s ever-present eroticism: “There is one long erotic scene, which is perhaps the best ever to have been written in Czech literature: it provokes and is filled with vulgarity, but at the same time it also has a sublime fragility, there is an element of love within it as well as ruinous lust, all of which is laced with a light perversity,” wrote Pavel Mandys for the newspaper Hospodářské noviny. On the one hand, Kahuda’s latest novel has been described as a brilliant “black light” spilling over our world, on the other hand, however, there are doubts about the readers’ ability to understand the book at all.