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Ladislav Hejdánek: What is Required Today

September 19, 2012


The 12th edition of the Václav Havel Library Notebooks is a just published selection from the Intellectual Diaries of one of the most important Czech philosophers of the second half of the 20th century – Ladislav Hejdánek.

The Intellectual Diaries consist of day-to-day notes that Ladislav Hejdánek kept very systematically from the 1950s and then from the 1970s to the present. Typed print pages of the A5 format gradually became something of a standard. On some days he filled several such pages, while on other days entries are lacking. However, the total extent of the Intellectual Diaries still amounts to several thousand standard pages. We rarely find subjective descriptions of current experiences. The author conceived of his diaries as an attempt at formulating his intellectual inspirations, and these “micro studies” frequently possess, in their demanding nature, the parameters of a full-fledged, published text. Philosophical considerations, often inspired by reading or the need to put together a lecture or article, naturally form the spine of the Intellectual Diaries. They are therefore a place where it is possible to trace the first outlines of the later texts, or to map chronologically Hejdánek’s intellectual development regarding certain subjects. Alongside entries with an unequivocally philosophical focus, the book also contains remarks on the political situation, reflections on art, and sometimes even purely personal entries.

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