Václav Havel

(1936-2011 / Prague)

Václav Havel Quotes

  • ''The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.''
    Václav Havel (b. 1936), Czech playwright, president. International Herald Tribune (Paris, Feb. 21, 1990).
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  • ''We are finding out that what looked like a neglected house a year ago is in fact a ruin.''
    Václav Havel (b. 1936), Czechoslovakian playwright, president. Daily Telegraph (London, January 3, 1991). On the state of Czechoslovakia and other ex-Soviet Bloc countries.
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  • ''[The] attempt to devote oneself to literature alone is a most deceptive thing, and ... often, paradoxically, it is literature that suffers for it.''
    Václav Havel (b. 1936), Czechoslovakian playwright, president. Disturbing the Peace, ch. 3 (1986, trans. 1990).
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  • ''Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.''
    Václav Havel (b. 1936), Czech playwright, president. Disturbing the Peace, ch. 5 (1986, trans. 1990).
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  • ''The truth is not simply what you think it is; it is also the circumstances in which it is said, and to whom, why, and how it is said.''
    Václav Havel (b. 1936), Czech playwright, president. Disturbing the Peace, ch. 2 (1986, trans. 1990).
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  • ''The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning—in other words, of absurdity—the more energetically meaning is sought.''
    Václav Havel (b. 1936), Czech playwright, president. Disturbing the Peace, ch. 5 (1986, trans. 1990).
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  • ''Drama assumes an order. If only so that it might have—by disrupting that order—a way of surprising.''
    Václav Havel (b. 1936), Czech playwright, president. Disturbing the Peace, ch. 5 (1986, trans. 1990).
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  • ''I think theatre should always be somewhat suspect.''
    Václav Havel (b. 1936), Czech playwright, president. Disturbing the Peace, ch. 2 (1986, trans. 1990).
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  • ''The cliché organizes life; it expropriates people's identity; it becomes ruler, defense lawyer, judge, and the law.''
    Václav Havel (b. 1936), Czechoslovakian playwright, president. Disturbing the Peace, ch. 5 (1986, trans. 1990).
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  • ''There's always something suspect about an intellectual on the winning side.''
    Václav Havel (b. 1936), Czechosolvakian playwright, president. Disturbing the Peace, ch. 5 (1986, trans. 1990).
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