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Věra Linhartová hidden behind words...

April 13, 2011

IllustrationLiterary Evening of Poetess Věra Linhartová will take place in premises of the Montmarte Galery within the Vaclav Havel Library project, Spring with 36ers, on Wednesday 21st April 2010 from 18:00.

The most mysterious member of the circle of the 36ers, poetess Věra Linhartová, left for Paris at the end of the 1960s where she had a career of a world-renowned orientalist – and then in a manner of poets and sages of classic Asia “went to the mountains,” that is, she withdrew entirely from the world to strict privacy. Only on Václav Havel’s insistent personal plea, his old friend exceptionally opened her hermitage slightly and provided her voice to the Vaclav Havel Library. Martin C. Putna brought a unique recording from Paris which will be heard at the Evening of Věra Linhartová. It contains the poetess’ voice reading samples of her texts in Czech and French language as well as extracts of the interview Martin C. Putna conducted with her about the 36ers, Václav Havel, Richard Weine,r and the urge to “go to the mountains.” A DAMU student, Marie Štípková, will read the poetry, some texts will be heard also from the recorded voice of the author herself. Long-time friend and interpreter of the author, Miloslav Topinka, will present the literary and historical introduction.

The Evening of Věra Linhartová is the fourth from the cinquefoil of meetings with personalities and creation of the most significant poets from the ranks of the 36ers – an unofficial literary group born from the initiative of Václav Havel in the 1950s. Cycle Spring with 36ers will end on 2nd June with a poetic evening where Václav Havel will read his juvenile texts.

VĚRA LINHARTOVÁ (1938) was born in Brno, studied Aesthetics and History of Art, worked in the National Institute of Care of Historical Monuments and also in Aleš South Bohemian Gallery in Hluboká where she created a collection of modern Czech art. After emigration she graduated in Japan Studies in Paris, worked in the UNESCO Library, and in the Museum of Oriental Art, Guimet. She also spent much time in Japan. Her literary work started in the 1960s with experimental prose in which Linhartová appears as an original sympathiser of Richard Weiner. Linhartová also prepared book series of Weiner’s work. Still in 1960 she proceeded from prose to relaxed, meditative, and essentially mystical texts on the boundary of poetry and prose. She continued in them also in the 1970s – when, however, French became her permanent literary language. Torst Publishing House now prepares for publishing a collection of Věra Linhartová’s essays containing her explanatory texts on Czech, French, as well as Japanese literature and art creation.

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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

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