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T. G. Masaryk and Josef Svatopluk Machar: Correspondence

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

In September 2013 Petr Kotyk succeeded in securing a valuable acquisition for the Literary Archive of the Memorial of National Literature in the form of almost 500 letters written by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk to Josef Svatopluk Machar between 1893 and 1932, along with a significantly smaller amount of correspondence from Machar’s family members (his wife Hedvika and daughters Sylva and Jiřina). The collection is primarily valuable as a supplement to 300 letters from J.S. Machar from the period 1893–1913 held in the T.G. Masaryk collection at the Literary Archive, so creating a whole that has no parallel in the Masaryk correspondence published to date.

Editors Helena Kokešová, Petr Kotyk and Irena Kraitlová will present the first volume in a series of correspondence between Masaryk and Machar, containing 183 letters written in the years 1893 to 1895. The authors of an extensive introductory study entitled Scepticism and Hope, Vratislav Doubek and Lucie Merhautová, will discuss the shaping of the bases of reform modernism.

Helena Kokešová will moderate a debate on politicians, artists and scientists in the public sphere at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, an issue that is still topical today.

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Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„So-called contradictions between different schools of thought do not bother me in the least, and it doesn’t seem at all perverse to conduct oneself quite “situationally” in that regard. If a certain term, or terminology or theory seems apt in a given situation or context, I have no compunctions whatsoever about exploiting it to the full ( and I don’t mind if it makes me seem like an epigone). At the same time, however, I don’t feel the least bit bound by any “allegiance”.“

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, May 1, 1981

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