Wednesday, 18 January 2012

To Prague

I'm off to Prague soon on a school trip so I thought I'd read a bit and bought Vaclav Havel's Memoirs.  Two days later he died, sadly. 

I can't say I begin to understand all the political parties etc in the post-Communist political landscape, but he is a very entertaining writer and the book mixes an interview, with memos to his staff and musings on a stay in Washington DC.

In there with deliberating about whether they join NATO or the EU first and continual instructions about when and how his advisers should give feed back on proposed speeches, is a cri de coeur concerning Olga the ironing lady.  Get her paid properly, from the gold reserves if necessary, but stop bothering him for no-one irons his shirts better.  The bit where they find a bomb-proof telext machine in a secret room in Prague Castle and get the code man to send a message to Gorby is good too.

Next up is Mendelssohn is on the Roof, a novel which starts with a German soldier being told to take down the statue of Felix from the roof of the Music conservatoire in Prague.  He goes for the one with the biggest nose, which turns out to be Wagner - good call.  The writer survived the occupation by faking his own suicide and then going into hiding.  I'm not expecting a cheery read.


Ben Trovato said...

Havel's plays are worth reading, too!

Joe said...

And look out for the examples of Church's (or former Church's) decorated in the style of the Beuron School of Art.

See here for notes of one of them:

leutgeb said...

All in good time gentlemen.

Since I am the party leader, there will be no time for any private sight seeing and any enjoyment I derive will be merely incidental to the proceedings.