Jan Šinágl angažovaný občan, nezávislý publicista


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Citát dne

Karel Havlíček Borovský
26. června r. 1850

KOMUNISMUS znamená v pravém a úplném smyslu bludné učení, že nikdo nemá míti žádné jmění, nýbrž, aby všechno bylo společné, a každý dostával jenom část zaslouženou a potřebnou k jeho výživě. Bez všelikých důkazů a výkladů vidí tedy hned na první pohled každý, že takové učení jest nanejvýš bláznovské, a že se mohlo jen vyrojiti z hlav několika pomatených lidí, kteří by vždy z člověka chtěli učiniti něco buď lepšího neb horšího, ale vždy něco jiného než je člověk.



„Lepší je být zbytečně vyzbrojen než beze zbraní bezmocný.“

Díky za dosavadní finanční podporu mé činnosti.

Po založení SODALES SOLONIS o.s., uvítáme podporu na číslo konta:
Raiffeisen Bank - 68689/5500
IBAN CZ 6555 0000000000000 68689
Jan Šinágl,
předseda SODALES SOLONIS o.s.

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Kundera Milan

Updated 21.7.2023: Milan Kundera, from his essay Une rencontre (2009, not translated into Czech), on the role of literature for the Czech nation: 'The Czech nation was born (and several times) not thanks to its military outbursts, but thanks to its literature. And I do not mean literature as a political weapon. I mean literature as such. Moreover, no political organization subsidized the Škvoreks, who as publishers could rely only on their own strength and sacrifices. I will never forget that. I was living in Paris at the time, but the heart of my free country beat in Toronto. With the end of the Russian occupation, there was no reason to publish Czech books abroad. From then on, Zdena and Josef Škvorecky occasionally visited Prague, but always returned to their homeland. To the homeland of their old exile."


Simón Bolivar: "All those who serve the revolution plough the sea."


Without the past, there is no present, let alone a future. His work is applicable to any time, to any linguistic, cultural and social experience.


You never know what's true and what's false. No one can be absolutely certain. - The novel exposes ideologies and, more importantly, the illusions that ideologies create. The novel is all-encompassing, and precisely because it can expose things, it is always inherently anti-ideological. - History has become kitsch because it is written by the winners of wars and elections. The comic is more horrible than the tragic, which still retains the illusion of dignity. The comic haunts us like a shadow, like a burden. France has become the new home for my books, so in a sense I'm just following my books. I've gradually come to realise that I don't write for one particular audience. I write novels for everybody, for readers in every country and every time. - The person leaves, the work doesn't. - Loneliness and madness are banished to space with a strange friendship. Faulkner longs to be nullified as a man, to be erased from history and to leave no trace of himself but printed books. - The hostility of the Czech dissidents who accused him of putting himself at the head of the Czech opposition. - The key to understanding Kundera lies nowhere else but in his novels. Where are we going? Does one know where one is going? It's all about being who you are, not pretending. Le Figaro: The sacred monster of literature. His literature and his voice will be missed. An exceptional writer, one of the greatest of the 20th and 21st centuries. There are over two thousand seven hundred translation items! He sees the madness of darkness in the future. All the themes are out of time and valid anywhere in the world, including the Czech Republic.

Ondřej Horák: Mourning God Milan Kundera

How could a fictional chess player make it in the context of Czech, plebeian oral literature? But all this is outlined in his short story "I the Mournful God".

In Immortality we find a clear statement to this effect: "The new age is pouncing on everything that has ever been written to turn it into films, television broadcasts or cartoons. Because the essential thing about a novel is precisely what cannot be said except in novel form, only the non-essential remains in any adaptation. If the fool who still writes them today wants to protect his novels, he must write them so that they cannot be adapted, in other words, so that they cannot be told."

But if Kundera certainly wasn't someone, and if there was one thing he didn't fit in with the Czech milieu, it was that he wasn't a pub type. As we read in both Ridiculous Loves and Joke, Kundera's characters are always disgusted by the quality of socialist hospitality. There's no enthusiasm for the communal nature of the fourth price bracket pubs, through which the private also becomes public.

In Immortality, the writers Hemingway and Goethe also appear as fictional characters - `a propos does Kundera happen to be doing something here that he would not want anyone else to do to him? But it is the conversation of these two great men that concerns this problem: ''You know, Johan,'' said Hemingway, ''they keep accusing me too. Instead of reading my books, they are now writing books about me. About how I didn't like my wives. That I didn't pay enough attention to my son. That I punched a critic in the mouth. That I lied. That I wasn't honest. About being proud. That I was macho. That I said I had two hundred and thirty injuries and I only had two hundred and ten. That I jerked off. That I made my mother angry.' 'That's immortality,' said Goethe. 'Immortality is eternal judgment.'"

Milan Uhde: "Those who attacked him were struck by his greatness. It's really hard to digest the fact that here is a great man, some of us not even up to his heels, some of us not even up to his belly, some of us not even up to his neck, and some of us not going anywhere. So he's been hit by what happens to the greats. They say lightning strikes tall trees very often. So perhaps it's part of the cruel life we live. I feel his contemporary voice perhaps most strongly in his last book published here, The Celebration of Insignificance. It paints a picture of a world that is perilously close to death, but no one notices. That's the thing that speaks to me in a contemporary voice, although I recognize that there are certainly larger, more significant themes in Kundera's work."

Well-intentioned bigotry is often the road to hell. In 1967, at the Fourth Congress of Czechoslovak Writers, Kundera gave an introductory lecture entitled "The Impossibility of the Existence of the Czech State". On the eternal return: 'If every second of our life is repeated endlessly, we are chained to eternity like Jesus Christ to the cross. Such an idea is terrible. In a world of eternal return, the weight of unbearable responsibility rests on every gesture. This is why Nietzsche called the idea of eternal return the heaviest burden. If the eternal return is the heaviest burden, then our lives can appear against its background in all their glorious lightness."  

Ondřej Neff: The Unbearable Weight of Silence - Milan Kundera, a great of world literature, has passed away. But the validity of his Joke does not end. Václav Havel looked at it differently at the time, speaking of "this system's attempt to remove the nonsense it has actually completed", and suggesting that we should be ashamed of the attempt rather than boasting of its far-reaching contribution to history. Where to look for the roots of the contradiction? Havel never participated in the completion of nonsense, whereas Kundera was an actor in it. - As far as Kundera is concerned, it is Žert that I value most highly as an expression of defiance against the nonsense, to speak with Havel, that time itself creates. Since time does not relent in this endeavour, this guarantees Kundera and Zert - if not exactly immortality - longevity for many years to come. The writer is not here to lead. His job, in that ideal mode, is to open windows into other thinking.

Milan Kundera: "Shall I stop playing the game just because it is futile?" "Smiling, kind, generous, discreet" is how the French describe him.

He certainly wasn't "perfect", only God is perfect. It's only us who have a plebeian need to look for the negative in others. Thanks to his failures in his youth, he knew the secrets of the human soul and could reach much deeper into it, including the roots of social life.

He undoubtedly deserved the Nobel Prize. He did not receive it just because he did not do his own PR, lived in seclusion and let his books speak for him. He is one of our modern-day exiles, more respected by another country than his own.

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