HomeEvents / Jiří Cieslar: Matouš

Jiří Cieslar: Matouš

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: February 8, 2016, 19:00 – 21:00

Presentation of the diary of academic, critic and essayist Jiří Cieslar, who for years headed the Institute of Film Studies at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University.

The diary, which dates from the close of his life, is written with a deep knowledge of the diary genre; however, it is also completely sincere and truthful, written without any hidden agendas or pretence. Numerous everyday stories from Prague editorial offices, the film world and life in general come alive; above everything, however, spans his desire to understand himself, his lot and his illness. Cieslar’s diary ranks among the most important literary testimonies to life in our country in the last quarter century.

The book will be presented by its editor Jan Šulc, the writer’s son Jiří Š. Cieslar and other guests.

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Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„Once you’re here, however, whether you want to or not, you have to ask the question: does all of this have a meaning, and if so, what?… Ultimately, I can only find an answer – a positive answer – within myself, in my general faith in the meaning of things, in my hope. What, in fact, is man responsible to? What does he relate to? What is the final horizon of his actions, the absolute vanishing point of everything he does, the undeceivable “memory of Being”, the conscience of the world and the final “court of appeal”? What is the decisive standard of measurement, the background or the field of each of his existential experiences? And likewise, what is the most important witness or the secret sharer in his daily conversations with himself, the thing that – regardless of what situation he has been thrown into – he incessantly inquires after, depends upon, and toward which his actions are directed, the thing that, in its omniscience and incorruptibility, both haunts and saves him, the only thing he can trust in and strive for? “

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, August 7, 1980

Daniel Cohn-Bendit à Bibliothèque Vaclav HavelThe Faces of Resistance