Sunday, 18 December 2011

Vaclav Havel - RIP

Another writer whom I admired has just died: Vaclav Havel.

He was also, of course, the first President of the Czech Republic.

I have not seen any of his plays, but following references to his work by Tom Stoppard (another writer whom I enjoy - in good health when last heard of...), I bought and read Sorry in 1982.  It is actually two plays, both featuring a character Vanek who is at least semi-autobiographical (and was played in the Radio 3 productions by Harold Pinter, and on Play for Today by Michael Crawford).  Some five years later, I also bought and read (but never saw) Largo Desolato and The Memorandum.

All of these are powerful and haunting dramatic works.  His reputation as a writer was well-established - and rightly so - quite apart from his role as a dissident, and then a political leader.

Of his political contribution, I am not well-placed to judge, but he was clearly hugely important in the breaking of the communist tyranny in his country.

American Catholic carries an interesting speech by him here.

Remember him in your prayers.

Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine.

1 comment:

Scout said...

Havel was a very great man. It's a shame he's died so long.