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Interviews with the 36ers and Silver Wind (VHL Workbooks No 6)

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Anthology of work by the Thirty-sixers, whose leading figure was Václav Havel.

The book is composed of works of the 36ers published in Samizdat magazines Interviews with the 36ers and Silver Wind. Among others, it contains Havel’s unknown texts from his earliest period, uncovered in the depths of Hrádeček.

The 36ers were truly the “First Gang”, which Václav Havel gathered around him when he and all the rest were seventeen years old. It was indeed “The Gang” –a quite exceptional bunch of teenagers with literary, political and philosophical ambitions, who purposefully by-passed the literary, political and philosophical streams of their time, the darkest Stalinist years. Václav Havel then actually does the same thing which he will do in the 1960s when trying to find the platform of independent creation and thinking across movements in the Tvář magazine.
And he does the same thing which he will do in the 1970s, when he organizes another community of independent personalities of culture, thoughts and politics – Charter 77. All things considered, he does the same thing which he will do in the 1990s when he will, despite the tendency to complete identification with politics in the party spirit, declare “apolitical politics” – politics, the bearers of which should be integral independent personalities, for whom political affiliation (if there is any) is secondary.
If, for no other reason, for this reason it is instructive to read these earliest teen texts of Václav Havel and the members of his “First Gang” – his “Protocharter”.


(From the introduction of Martin C. Putna in Interviews with the 36ers, Silver Wind)

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