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What is the Point of Books in the Midst of Wartime Chaos?

Illustration
  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 22, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

For Ghias Mousli to reach Prague, he has to leave Homs by taxi, cross a war zone and hope that he doesn’t miss his flight from Beirut due to holdups at the border. He is one of the few citizens of the war-torn city who can travel to Europe freely – thanks to having Slovak citizenship.

As well as his work as a doctor, surgeon Ghias Mousli, who studied medicine at Charles University in the late 1960s, is a literary translator. Over almost three decades he has translated numerous Czech and Slovak works of literature into Arabic.

He is coming to Prague for a residency at the Czech Literary Centre.

The evening will be hosted by Jáchym Topol, whose novel Noční práce (Nightwork) is currently being translated by Mousli.

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Diary entry for 26. April 2005, To the Castle and Back

„And here we are once more on the subject of Czech small-mindedness. Look after Number One, don’t get mixed up in other people’s business, keep your head down, don’t look up – we’re surrounded by mountains and those whirlwinds from the outside world will blow over our heads and we can go on burrowing in our little backyard. How many wise essays or books have been written about his domestic self-absorption of ours!“

Václav Havel:
Diary entry for 26. April 2005, To the Castle and Back, 2006

Václav Havel’s Prague