February 28, 2024

It has been practically 20 years because the first publication of “Disturbing the Peace”, Karel Hvizdala’s transcription of written correspondence with Vaclav Havel from 1985-86. With Havel lately saying that he has commenced work on an autobiography, it is an attention-grabbing train to view how Havel represents himself, his work and his politics earlier than the tumultuous occasions of the Velvet Revolution in 1989.

Numerous political water has handed below the Charles Bridge in Prague throughout this time and in his new guide Havel will hopefully study his legacy and affect as the primary President of the Czech Republic in some element. One attention-grabbing consequence of this will probably be how his views and opinions have modified or solidified because the mid 1980’s.

His interview with Hvizdala was carried out at a time when the usS.R was nonetheless intact (albeit with the budding prospects of ‘Glasnost’ and ‘Perestroika’) and Czechoslovakia was a extremely regulated communist state.

In “Disturbing the Peace” Havel is on the peak of his political dissidence and offers an trustworthy and daring account of his life.

He fondly recollects him time studying methods to write for the theatre and offers glorious perception and recommendation on writing basically. Regarded by many as one of many nice submit conflict playwrights in Europe, he additionally elaborates on his penchant for absurdist theatre and begins to outline how his performs differentiate or distinction with the work of Beckett and Brecht.

Havel is candid when discussing his politics, philosophies and imprisonment within the 1970’s and 80’s. It have to be remembered that this guide was revealed within the West at a time when he was nonetheless below menace of additional imprisonment and this actually did occur a couple of years later.

Studying “Disturbing the Peace” additionally highlights one of many main ironies of his public life. He turned rather more guarded in his political method as soon as he took on the workplace of President. A one time lightning rod for democratic change, Havel was confronted in 1989 with the identical realities that the majority western democratic leaders face – methods to handle the economic system and construct infrastructure while balancing civil rights and different democratic ideas.

Havel stood down as president in 2003 and has spent a lot time since championing democratic causes in Cuba, the Ukraine and Burma. If nothing else, “Disturbing the Peace” is a reminder of what Havel is able to saying and reaching and this type of voice by no means goes out of style.