Critical essays on vaclav havel

New York: St. Rocamora, Carol. Hanover, NH: Smith and Kraus, It does not include his early collaborative projects. A more complete publication history of each play, including samizdat editions, can be found in the notes to Spisy 2: Hry [Writings.

Volume 2: Plays] Prague: Torst, Each of the plays listed here can also be found in this volume, along with commentary, introductions, and variants. The years given in brackets after each entry indicate the years of composition.

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In Spisy 2: Hry [Writings. Volume 2: Plays], Prague: Torst, Divadlo [Theater] 14, no. Divadlo [Theater] 16, no. Divadlo [Theater] 19, no. Spiklenci [The Conspirators]. Toronto: Sixty-Eight Publishers Corp. Translated by Paul Wilson. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, Selected Plays Spisy [Writings]. Volume 5: Dopisy Olze [Letters to Olga].


Prague: Gallery, Stockholm: The Charta 77 Foundation, Translated by Paul Wilson et al. New York: Knopf, New York: Vintage Books, Letters to Olga. Online at Havel's official site. Open Letters: Selected Writings, Selected and Edited by Paul Wilson. London: Hutchinson, London, Boston: Faber and Faber, Brooks, D.

Full text through ProQuest subscription required. Burian, Jarka. London: Routledge, Goetz-Stankiewicz, Marketa and Phyllis Carey, editors. New York: G. Hall, Includes an introduction, 23 essays on Havel by various authors, photographs, glossary of names and terms, and brief English-language bibliography. As can be seen from their reactions in social media, there are plenty of Czechs who see such attitudes, which have been widely reported in local media, merely as confirmation of an allegedly arrogant, colonial attitude toward their country.

This is certainly not what American editors and writers intend — but such are the results of heavy-handed sermonizing from the other side of the Atlantic. Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola.

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A little less finger-wagging from across the pond might be a start. View Comments. Foreign Policy. More from Foreign Policy. October 19, , AM. Trending 1. From Chop Suey to Fine Dining. Need an account? Sign up for free access to 1 article per month and weekly email updates from expert policy analysts Sign Up. In fact, such a person speaks aloud what everyone else is thinking—even what the government is thinking. The key question is how to make connections to the silent and then build upon those connections and the answer is to visibly live within the truth.

Framing Václav Havel

One of his few concrete suggestions is holding the Communists to their own legal code, which was, in fact, a popular and successful tactic through the s. Havel makes no predictions of how matters will go in practice and rejects any value in speculation.

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If and when this movement succeeds, Havel did not envision, or endorse, what is held up to us today as the ideal, so-called liberal democracy. But this is incorrect, totally, and only said, then and now, so that preening Western leftists can pretend that those who lived under actual socialism had any use for it, and merely wanted a slightly different form of socialism.

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  7. Additional Resources for The Memorandum by Václav Havel.

That is to say, he saw the flaws in liberal democracy early, and he was not interested in socialism, or any system of government economic control, though he did see the spiritual dangers of consumerism. A new experience of being, a renewed rootedness in the universe, a newly grasped sense of higher responsibility, a newfound inner relationship to other people and to the human community-these factors clearly indicate the direction in which we must go.

What this meant for Havel as far as a future political system is not precisely laid out, but what he does say suggests he believed in what today would be considered a profoundly traditionally conservative vision of the new political system. There must be structures that in principle place no limits on the genesis of different structures. Any accumulation of power one of the characteristics of automatism should be profoundly alien to it.

Havel ultimately had one of the chief voices in the post-Communist Czech political system, in which echoes of these thoughts can be found, along with many compromises, problems, and variations. It is always easier to write essays than to govern, even if writing was more dangerous to Havel personally. It is important to remember that the Left has constructed a false history over the past thirty years; liberals and progressives in the West claim that they opposed totalitarian Communism until its collapse in Nothing could be farther from the truth, and as Ryszard Legutko has documented , both before and after the collapse of Communism, Western liberals felt more kinship with Communism than with people like Havel.

A second falsehood accompanies this first one—that the peoples of Central Europe sought to escape Communism so they could join the liberal democracies of the West. In its crudest form, this falsehood focuses on consumer goods as the touchstone—supposedly, people got tired of living with only being able to buy a narrow range of shoddy goods.

Which is true, up to a point. I travelled in Hungary in the s, as a teenager, and again immediately after the fall of Communism, throughout Central Europe, and there was certainly a dearth of decent consumer goods. But that was an ancillary problem to most people who lived there. He may only talk within an ever-smaller private sphere, and that not without risk or cost.


And new topics, and new opinions, formerly unexceptional, from gender dysphoria being a mental illness to that guns should not be banned, are continuously added to the proscribed list, as the Left tightens its control. No equivalent applies to any person on the Left, of course, in any area of life. Upon reflection, it is obvious that every single quantum of totalitarianism that Havel identifies in his essay applies, mutatis mutandis , to American social conservatives today. They must also live within a lie to protect themselves, and they must ignore the unreality of the lies they are required to mouth, for exactly the same reasons in exactly the same manner.

Immediately a consortium of social justice warriors, leftist corporate leaders especially the pernicious Marc Benioff of Salesforce , and homosexual pressure groups forced its repeal. The substance of RFRA is irrelevant for current purposes, though. Indiana has no state-level law banning private discrimination against homosexuals just like the federal government , but nobody even bothered to claim homosexuals were actually ever discriminated against in any way—instead, compulsory perceived ideological approval of the homosexual agenda was the only goal.

These signs were distributed by going door-to-door and offering them to shopkeepers, with the implicit or perhaps explicit threat of blacklisting or a social media mob punishing the business if they refused. The effect of this creeping totalitarianism is that only a tiny minority of people can now openly disagree with Left orthodoxy on a wide range of issues—people with nothing to lose, or nothing more to lose. Retirees, perhaps, though soon enough ways will be found to bring them to heel. Blue collar workers, in some cases. There is no revolving door between journalism and opinion, or journalism and politics, for conservatives, only for progressives.

So, even most conservatives toe the line, and increasingly so. You are wondering, if this is true, how it is that I feel free to say these things?

Framing Václav Havel | Slovo a Smysl

Am I not refuting myself? Ah, good question. But certainly, in theory I, like everybody, have something to lose.