Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton Interviews Vaclav Havel

The first President of Czechoslovakia, T G Masaryk, was a world-famous writer and philosopher. Thanks to his international standing and to his towering personality, Masaryk was able to put his country where it belonged on the cultural map- namely, at the heart of Europe. Vaclav Havel has repeated the achievement, helping the Czech experience to reassume its central place in the European imagination. His writings belong to the corpus of dissident literature, but their relevance has not dwindled since the collapse of the Communist regime. Indeed, the importance of both the plays and the essays increases, as the Communist experience fades from the European memory, and new forms of impersonal order and unaccountable government spread their shadow across our continent. Although Masaryk wrote and published freely, and received the accolades of academic, literary and political establishments, none of his writings has retained the penetrating relevance of ‘The Power of the Powerless’, of the Letters to Olga or of the intimate theatre through which Havel explored the psychological traumas of our time.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'If there is a god, nature is the breath of it and art ... is its messenger.' Jan Morris contemplates Wordsworth ,
    • Weekend read 2: Take inspiration from Jonathan Meades's 'anti'-recipes and 'serve up a treat' this Sunday ,
    • If you're at , starting tomorrow, there are free copies of Literary Review for festival attendees. Grab while stocks last!,
    • Weekend read 1: 'The fiery meteor that was Victor Grayson', as presented in David Clark's biography ,
    • We’re offering the chance to win a copy of I Am Not Your Negro. You can find all the information in our newsletter: ,
    • Stephen Bates reviews Richard Ingrams's biography of Ludovic Kennedy ,
    • RT : Pls enjoy my interview about the Bad Sex Awards w @Lit_Review-"My body was her gearstick" & "his bulbous salutation" ,