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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In his most extensive and hitherto unpublished in book form piece of prose writing, Josef K. Šlejhar, best known as the author of the novella Kuře melancholic (Chicken Melancholic), comes to terms with his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 26. April 2005, To the Castle and Back

„And here we are once more on the subject of Czech small-mindedness. Look after Number One, don’t get mixed up in other people’s business, keep your head down, don’t look up – we’re surrounded by mountains and those whirlwinds from the outside world will blow over our heads and we can go on burrowing in our little backyard. How many wise essays or books have been written about his domestic self-absorption of ours!“

Václav Havel:
Diary entry for 26. April 2005, To the Castle and Back, 2006

What Price Human Rights?