Letters from Prison | Václav Havel | Granta Magazine

Letters from Prison

Václav Havel & Jiří Dienstbier

Translated by Paul Wilson, Pavel Stránský & Alan Mason

‘When the governor forbade Havel to write essays, ordering him to write only about himself, he started a series on his fifteen different moods.’

Václav Havel

Václav Havel was born in Czechoslovakia in 1936. His plays have been produced around the world, and he is the author of many influential essays on totalitarianism, dissent and democratic renewal. He was a founding spokesman for Charter 77, and served as president of the Czech Republic until 2003. His memoir To the Castle and Back was published in 2008.

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Jiří Dienstbier

Jiří Dienstbier was a Czech journalist. Along with Václav Havel and others, he was a signatory to Charter 77, which demanded human rights and political freedoms for Czechoslovak citizens. He and many other Charter 77 supporters were imprisoned for their activities.

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Translated by Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is a Canadian translator and writer. He lived in Czechoslovakia for ten years before he was exiled  by the Communist government. He is currently working on a translation of Vaclav Havel’s play The Memorandum.

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Translated by Pavel Stránský

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Translated by Alan Mason

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