In Praise of Václav Havel

Issue Date July 2010
Volume 21
Issue 3
Page Numbers 135-142
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Václav Havel’s career and oeuvre can be divided into three periods: the playwright of the 1960s, influenced by the absurdist theater of Beckett and Ionesco; the dissident of the 1970s and 1980s; and then the president (1989–2003). The Velvet Revolution itself is his best play, a theatrical revolution in which the people were invited to play the roles themselves. Milan Kundera wrote at the time: “The way in which he led the struggle was fascinating not just from a political point of view, but from an aesthetic one as well. It was the last prestissimo movement of a sonata written by a very great master.”

About the Author

Jacques Rupnik is senior research fellow at the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI) in Paris and professor at Sciences Po, as well as visiting professor at the College of Europe in Bruges.

View all work by Jacques Rupnik