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Koubská, Stránský, Pithart: Grandfather’s Diary. An ordinary life in extraordinary times

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  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 7, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

In the book Dědečkův deník (Grandfather’s Diary) journalist Libuše Koubská offers a documentary and literary exploration of the story of “her soul”, more precisely the story of a Czech-German family whose lives were marked dramatically and tragically by so-called great events of the 20th century: the First Republic, the Protectorate, the wild post-war expulsions and the early 1950s.

Politician Petr Pithart and writer Jiří Stránský will discuss with Libuše Koubská this story, which though it concluded badly also imparts the courage to live honestly, decently and in an everyday manner despite awareness of guaranteed unhappy endings.

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Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„I am a child of the age of conceptual, rather than mystical, thought and therefore my god as well – if I am compelled to speak of him (which I do very unwillingly) – must appear as something terribly abstract, vague and unattractive. But it appears so only to someone I try to tell about him – the experience itself is quite vivid, intimate and particular, perhaps (…) more lively than for someone whose “normal” God is provided with all the appropriate attributes (which oddly enough can alienate more often than drawing one closer). And something else that is typical of my god: he is a master of waiting, and in doing so he frequently unnerves me. It is as though he set up various possibilities around me and then waited silently to see what I would do. (…) His Last Judgment is taking place now, continuously, always – and yet it is always the last: nothing that has happened can ever un-happen, everything remains in the “memory of Being” – and I too remain there – condemned to be with myself till the end of time – just as I am and just as I make myself.“

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

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