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What remains absurd and what cannot be ridiculed anymore?

September 2, 2011


The Václav Havel Library announces the second year of the competition for secondary school students: Award for the Best Student Essay.

One of the central genres of the creativity of Václav Havel is the essay genre—on literary, artistic, social, political, and spiritual topics. Václav Havel’s essays, e.g. "Power of Powerless" or "Word on Word," have become classics of Czech Literature and have been translated into numerous languages. They rank among the few genuinely world-renowned creations of Czech culture. Also for this reason, therefore, it is necessary to further cultivate the genre of essay in the Czech language—not in the sense of intending to imitate the essays of Václav Havel, but in the sense of Havel’s courage in naming unpleasant problems and searching for unconventional solutions. The Václav Havel Library therefore announces the second year of the competition intended for secondary school pupils for the best student essay.

In this second year (2010) the theme is:

What remains absurd and what cannot be ridiculed anymore?

Please, send the texts, written in the Czech language, in extent up to 18,000 characters (ten standard pages), bearing the author’s name, date of birth, and name of the secondary school,  electronically to the e-mail address no later than on 30th September 2010. Essays will be examined by the jury composed of Czech cultural figures close to Václav Havel. The first prize is CZK 15,000, the second prize CZK 10,000 and the third prize CZK 5,000. The competition results will be announced and prizes awarded in the premises of the Václav Havel Library in the Montmartre Gallery, Řetězová 7, Prague 1 - Old Town in November 2010.

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