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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

„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

Havel—Prigov and czech experimental poetry