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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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Power of the Powerless – samizdat essay

„Technology – that child of modern science, which in turn is a child of modern metaphysics – is out of humanity’s control, has ceased to serve us, has enslaved us and compelled us to participate in the preparation of our own destruction. And humanity can find no way out: we have no idea and no faith, and even less do we have a political conception to help us bring things back under human control. We look on helplessly as that coldly functioning machine we have created inevitably engulfs us, tearing us away from our natural affiliations (for instance, from our habitat in the widest sense of that word, including our habitat in the biosphere) just as it removes us from the experience of Being and casts us into the world of “existences”.“

Václav Havel:
Power of the Powerless – samizdat essay, October 1978