Essays

1975
An Open Letter to Dr. Husak, General Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party
Dear Dr. Husák (April 1975), addressed to Dr. Gustav Husák, who was then the general secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, is Havel's first major public statement after being blacklisted in 1969. He describes the circumstances surrounding the wri
1978
The power of the powerless
Translated by Paul Wilson, "The Power of the Powerless" has appeared several times in English, foremost in The Power of the Powerless: Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe, edited by John Keane, with an Introduction by Steven Lukes (London
1984
Politics and Conscience
In an author's note, Havel writes, "This speech was written for the University of Toulouse, where I would have delivered it on receiving an honorary doctorate, had I attended...:' Havel, of course, had no passport and could not travel abroad. At the cerem
1985
The Erasmus Prize
1986
On the Meaning of Charter 77
1986
Anatomy of a Reticence
Anatomy of a Reticence (April 1985) was written, according to a note by the author, "to be delivered at a peace conference in Amsterdam, in my absence; and for an international collection of essays on European identity being prepared by the Suhrkamp publi
1987
Stories and Totalitarianism
Stories and Totalitarianism (April 1987) was written for the underground cultural journal Jednou nohu (Revolver Review), and dedicated to Ladislav Hejdánek on his seventieth birthday. In English, it appeared in Index on Censorship, no. 3 (March 1988) and,
1989
A Word About Words
In 1989, Havel was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Booksellers Association. It was presented to him, in absentia, at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 15, 1989. This is his acceptance speech, which was read in Havel's absence by Maximilian Schell.

Photogallery

Václav Havel

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What Price Human Rights?