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Zdeněk Urbánek – Poet, Writer, Translator, Gentleman

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  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 12, 2017, 13:30 – 17:00

I actually grew up my whole life in a spiritual space whose only sign or pointer was that lifelong friend of mine.”  Václav Havel, 1997

Symposium held on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Zdeněk Urbánek – a poet of the type of Jiří Orten or Ivan Blatný, an essayist, singular prose writer and distinctive translator of Anglo-American literature, including William Shakespeare, one of the first signatories of Charter 77, a recipient of the Righteous Among Nations honorific and a good man.

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Speech on receiving the Indira Gandhi Prize, New Delhi

„Many Europeans and Americans today are painfully aware of the fact that Euro-American civilization has undermined and destroyed the autonomy of non-European cultures. They feel it was their fault, and thus feel they have to make amends through a kind of emotional identification with others, through accommodating them, through trying to ingratiate themselves, through a longing to “help” them in one way or another. To my mind, this is a false way of going about it… It contains… the same familiar feeling of superiority… It is inverted colonialism. It is an intellectual spasm. I think we will all help one another best if we make no pretences, remain ourselves, and simply respect and honour one another, just as we are. “

Václav Havel:
Speech on receiving the Indira Gandhi Prize, New Delhi, February 8, 1994

Václav Havel’s Prague