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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In his most extensive and hitherto unpublished in book form piece of prose writing, Josef K. Šlejhar, best known as the author of the novella Kuře melancholic (Chicken Melancholic), comes to terms with his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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Speech on receiving an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem

„My somewhat desultory attitude about studying Kafka’s works comes from my vague feeling that I don't need to read and re-read everything Kafka has written because I know what I’ll find there anyway. I'm even secretly persuaded that if Kafka did not exist, and if I were a better writer than I am, I would have written all his works myself.“

Václav Havel:
Speech on receiving an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, April 26, 1990

Daniel Cohn-Bendit à Bibliothèque Vaclav HavelThe Faces of Resistance