Events: October 2023 September 2023 November 2023
Launch N: Organs Don’t Belong to Heaven
October 3, 2023, 19:00
Renata Kalenská underwent a kidney and pancreas transplant in 2018. She owes her life to the top team of surgeon Jiří Froňek, whose work she now explores in a book-length interview. Orgány nepatří do nebe (Organs Don’t Belong to Heaven) also includes stories of people who fought for their lives at Prague’s IKEM hospital. The story of its head and his patients proves that the closer we are to death, the better we understand the true value of life. The guests of Petra Procházková of Deník N will be transplant surgeon Jiří Froněk, coach of the Czech national team in Thai boxing Jiří Mejstřík, who is a transplant patient, and the author of the book, Renata Kalenská. The talk will culminate with the publication’s “baptism”.
The Fiendish Temptation of Václav Havel, or I Hid It Somewhere
October 4, 2023, 19:00
Václav Havel lost his account of his first imprisonment after the publication of Charter 77, and the temptations he had to deal with in jail, soon after it was written, so had no chance to correct it. The writer’s raw, intimate and very powerful notes, accompanied by essays by Petr Blažek, David Dušek, Anna Freimanová and editor Michael Žantovský, were published as Někam jsem to ukryl (I Hid it Somewhere) by the Václav Havel Library in 2021, with the book selling out almost immediately. More
11th international conference in honour of the laureate of the 2023 Václav Havel Human Prize
October 10, 2023, 13:30 Conferences
I regard as a true hero somebody who overcomes their fear because they know it’s the correct thing to do. A person who listens to their conscience, which tells them it would be right to do something. Even though reason tells them that it may be dangerous for them. (Václav Havel, 1995) More
Lviv, The Forgotten Centre of Europe
October 11, 2023, 18:00
An Argo publishing house discussion, moderated by Respekt journalist Ondřej Kundra, with the German journalist Lutz C. Kleveman about his book Lemberg: The Forgotten Centre of Europe, focusing on his journey to Lviv in 2014, the “forgotten war” in Eastern Ukraine and Lviv’s genius loci. They will also discuss different views of the Ukrainian past and present, the role of so-called Ukrainian nationalism in the country’s history and the culture of memory. Ukraine expert Tereza Chlaňová and the book’s translator Petr Dvořáček will also take part in the debate.
The Underground and Czechoslovakia in 1989
October 12, 2023, 10:00
The eighth annual conference dedicated to the phenomenon of the Czech underground (and more) will focus on the crucial year 1989. As early as January the Communist regime had been literally shaken to its foundations during what was known as Palach Week. The brutality with which the regime suppressed mass protests resonated around the world. The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic became a true island of neo-Stalinist sentiment in the middle of Europe. Leading figures in the underground and Charter 77 community found themselves in prison once again. Society was literally ripe for change. New opposition movements were emerging. There were “illegal” cultural activities, from rock concerts to samizdat to art exhibitions. The so-called silent majority, the grey zone, was coming to life. All this and more will be discussed at this conference at the Václav Havel Library by experts and specialists on the issue of the underground (and more).
Foglar for the 21st Century
October 16, 2023, 19:00
Does Jaroslav Foglar still have something to say to new generations? Or do those born earlier just flip through his books, nostalgically? Do Foglar’s readers accept new books by contemporary authors? What about The Message from Stínadla and other titles that take his ouevre as a starting point? More
Big Book Thursday Meeting with Authors and Book Signing
October 19, 2023, 17:00
We cordially invite you to a Big Book Thursday event, the 24th to date, presenting 15 of this autumn’s new titles. More
The Phenomenon of Migration from the Russian Empire: History and Contemporary Parallels
October 26, 2023, 19:00
After the First World War, not only did the map of Europe change – the continent also faced the first great wave of modern migration. Up to three million people were expelled from the former Russian Empire, which after the red revolution turned into a Soviet state with no room for opposition. The Czechoslovak Republic accepted 30,000 migrants immediately after its establishment, and was also the only state in the world that targeted and consistently “shaped” its immigration: students, scholars, farmers and artists were the main beneficiaries of a programme named Russian Aid Action. What did the migration wave look like then? What impact did it have on the Czechoslovak state? And how did its citizens perceive the new arrivals? More
From Prague to New York: Two Lives of Josef Guttmann, Two Views of a 20th Century Tragedy
October 30, 2023, 19:00
Two lives, two names, two perspectives on Soviet communism and its post-war expansion into Eastern Europe. They may seem neatly separated, yet they are united by one man’s experience and his attempt to understand the hopes and tragedies of the 20th century. Josef Guttmann, a leftist intellectual and later member of the Communist Party leadership, broke with the party in the early 1930s, becoming, alongside Záviš Kalandra, a prominent anti-leftist. He left Czechoslovakia at the end of 1938 and three years later settled in New York, where he worked under a pseudonym as an expert on events in the Soviet Bloc, a critic of totalitarianism and the author of the first articles on anti-Semitism in the Slanský trial. His Czech texts from the 1930s, together with studies and essays on the nature of communist regimes, genocide and anti-Semitism written in the United States, were selected by Jacques Rupnik and are being published in his native country for the first time.
Libor Krejcar: The Cat in Us
October 31, 2023, 19:00
Launch of the publication Kočka v nás: Sochař a hudebník Libor Krejcar (The Cat in Us: The Sculptor and Musician Libor Krejcar) delivers the first comprehensive overview of the work of the late sculptor, carver and musician Libor Krejcar (1961–2022). The book, by art historian Lenka Dolanová, presents Krejcar’s musical and sculptural works, as well as in the field of action art and body art, and is accompanied by a large number of previously unpublished materials from the archives of Krejcar’s family and friends. The Cat in Us, edited by Klára Zahrádková, has been brought out by the Argo publishing house. More