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I Didn’t Have the Last Word, Incidentally

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 18, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

Ceremonial launch of Josef K. Šlejhar’s novel Cvrček mého krbu (The Cricket of My Fireplace).

In his most extensive and hitherto unpublished in book form piece of prose writing, Josef K. Šlejhar, best known as the author of the novella Kuře melancholic (Chicken Melancholic), comes to terms with his marriage as well as with the world as such. Over more than 700 pages his unusually evocative and sensuous language he piles up images of days together, commonplace deliberations, memories and sensations. With an almost stenographic precision, he records the sequence of events that preceded the collapse of his life. With anger and humility, lover’s fulminations and patriarchal pride, harshness and tenderness, he repeatedly endures evidence against his own fate. It lays accusations against him and holds him to account. With stubbornness he prepares a closing speech before a grand jury that has never sat and never will. Which changes nothing about the fact that the book is an exceptional, gripping read.

Evening hosted by Pavel Hájek and Jaromír Typlt, a connoisseur of Šlejhar’s work.

The actor Lukáš Jůza will read from the novel.


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Diary entry for 10 July 2005, To the Castle and Back

„I’ve run away. I’ve run away to Hrádeček. I’m here alone and I feel uneasy. Everything reminds me of the decades I’ve been through in this place. I like it here. It’s my refuge, my existential home, but again and again I realize there’s no going back, and that by now I’m not the same person I was when I wrote my plays, prepared my experimental meals, threw light-hearted parties, and organised secret dissident meetings. I’m older, sicker, wearier.“

Václav Havel:
Diary entry for 10 July 2005, To the Castle and Back, 2006

Václav Havel’s Prague