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The End of Experiment by Michal Pullman

April 29, 2011

IllustrationDear friends, we would like to invite you to the launch of Michal Pullman’s book, The End of Experiment. Reconstruction and Fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia which will take place in Montmartre Gallery on Tuesday, 3rd May from 19:30.

The End of Experiment deals with the dynamism of Reconstruction in Czechoslovakia during the period of 1985-1989. It presents the first overview of the history of Czechoslovakian Reconstruction and also analyses the preconditions for the subsequent collapse of the dictatorship. According to the pivotal argument, not the system of oppression but the decreasing ability of its participants to reach consensus about the basic issues of the existing arrangement on a daily basis was collapsing in the period of Reconstruction. The historical-semantic method is used specifically to uncover the process in the course of which the hyperstandardised language of the 1980s was breaking down and the state-socialist establishment imploded.

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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

Havel—Prigov and czech experimental poetry