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Karol Sidon: Where Foxes Bid Goodnight

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  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 11, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

The fantasy novel Outsider closes the tetralogy Where Foxes Bid Goodnight by Chaim Cigan. In the work Cigan (the pseudonym of the prose author, dramatist and former chief rabbi of Prague, Karel Sidon) attempts to pull together the stories of multiple heroes we have encountered in this and parallel worlds in the previous three books and to rectify that which was originally unleased by a discovery that enabled time travel.

The novel has a strong political line and considers possible future scenarios for the world, none of which might be dubbed optimistic; though a mutual enemy briefly causes the Arab and Jewish worlds to come together, this gives rise to a previously inconceivable alliance driven not only by political logic but also by the swollen egos of leaders and insurmountable prejudices. With this book Karol Sidon again demonstrates that his literary arsenal includes language, imagination and the ability to create vibrant, believable and all-too-human characters.

Literary historian and theoretician Petr A. Bílek will chair the debate with Karol Sidon.

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Power of the Powerless – samizdat essay

„Technology – that child of modern science, which in turn is a child of modern metaphysics – is out of humanity’s control, has ceased to serve us, has enslaved us and compelled us to participate in the preparation of our own destruction. And humanity can find no way out: we have no idea and no faith, and even less do we have a political conception to help us bring things back under human control. We look on helplessly as that coldly functioning machine we have created inevitably engulfs us, tearing us away from our natural affiliations (for instance, from our habitat in the widest sense of that word, including our habitat in the biosphere) just as it removes us from the experience of Being and casts us into the world of “existences”.“

Václav Havel:
Power of the Powerless – samizdat essay, October 1978

Václav Havel’s Prague