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Koubská, Stránský, Pithart: Grandfather’s Diary. An ordinary life in extraordinary times

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  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 7, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

In the book Dědečkův deník (Grandfather’s Diary) journalist Libuše Koubská offers a documentary and literary exploration of the story of “her soul”, more precisely the story of a Czech-German family whose lives were marked dramatically and tragically by so-called great events of the 20th century: the First Republic, the Protectorate, the wild post-war expulsions and the early 1950s.

Politician Petr Pithart and writer Jiří Stránský will discuss with Libuše Koubská this story, which though it concluded badly also imparts the courage to live honestly, decently and in an everyday manner despite awareness of guaranteed unhappy endings.

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Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„Once you’re here, however, whether you want to or not, you have to ask the question: does all of this have a meaning, and if so, what?… Ultimately, I can only find an answer – a positive answer – within myself, in my general faith in the meaning of things, in my hope. What, in fact, is man responsible to? What does he relate to? What is the final horizon of his actions, the absolute vanishing point of everything he does, the undeceivable “memory of Being”, the conscience of the world and the final “court of appeal”? What is the decisive standard of measurement, the background or the field of each of his existential experiences? And likewise, what is the most important witness or the secret sharer in his daily conversations with himself, the thing that – regardless of what situation he has been thrown into – he incessantly inquires after, depends upon, and toward which his actions are directed, the thing that, in its omniscience and incorruptibility, both haunts and saves him, the only thing he can trust in and strive for? “

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, August 7, 1980

Václav Havel’s Prague