Selected essays
Vaclav Havel
Before 1989
1989 - 2003
After 2003
Plays, books
Contact, links

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1986 The Erasmus Prize
1986 On the Meaning of Charter 77
1985 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 publishing house." It first appeared in Czech in Obsah, a samizdat publication, in April 1985. Its first publication in English was as a Charter 77 Foundation pamphlet (Voices from Czechoslovakia, i), Stockholm, 1985. Subsequently it was published in Václav Havel or Living in Truth, edited by Jan Vladislav. The translation is by Erazim Kohák.
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 ceremony at the University of Toulouse-Le Mirail on May 14, 1984, he was represented by the English playwright Tom Stoppard.

The essay first appeared in Prague in a saynizdat collection called The Natural World as Politicol Problem: Essays on Modern Man (Prague: Edice Expedice, Vol. 188, 1984). The first English translation, by Erazim Kohák and Roger Scruton, appeared in the Salisbury Review, no. 2 (January 1985). This is the translation used here.
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: Hutchinson, 1985). That volume includes a selection of nine other essays from the original Czech and Slovak collection.
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 writing of this letter in the interview with Jiří Lederer on page 84. The letter was first published in English, in this translation, in Encounter (September 1975). It has subsequently appeared in several anthologies of Czech writing, most recently in Václav Havel or Living in Truth, edited by Jan Vladislav (London: Faber & Faber, 1986). The translator is not identified.