Quotes by: Vaclav Havel

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Václav Havel
1st President of the Czech Republic
In office
2 February 1993 – 2 February 2003
Prime Minister Václav Klaus
Josef Tošovský
Miloš Zeman
Vladimír Špidla
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Václav Klaus
10th President of Czechoslovakia
In office
29 December 1989 – 20 July 1992
Prime Minister Marián Čalfa
Jan Stráský
Preceded by Gustáv Husák
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born (1936-10-05)5 October 1936
Prague, Czechoslovakia
(now Czech Republic)
Died 18 December 2011(2011-12-18) (aged 75)
Vlčice, Czech Republic
Political party OF (1989–1993)
Other political
affiliations
SZ supporter (2004–2011)
Spouse(s) Olga Šplíchalová (1964–1996; her death)
Dagmar Veškrnová (1997–2011; his death)
Children None 1 stepdaughter
Alma mater Czech Technical University
Academy of Performing Arts
Website www.vaclavhavel.cz
www.vaclavhavel-library.org

As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension, and man began to lose control of it.
Vaclav Havel
It lies in human nature that where you experience your first laughs, you also remember the age kindly.
Vaclav Havel
If we are to change our world view, images have to change. The artist now has a very important job to do. He's not a little peripheral figure entertaining rich people, he's really needed.
Vaclav Havel
Isn't it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity.
Vaclav Havel
Theater is there to search for questions. It doesn't give you instructions.
Vaclav Havel
Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it.
Vaclav Havel
None of us know all the potentialities that slumber in the spirit of the population, or all the ways in which that population can surprise us when there is the right interplay of events.
Vaclav Havel
Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace.
Vaclav Havel
Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance.
Vaclav Havel
Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.
Vaclav Havel
Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not.
Vaclav Havel
There's always something suspect about an intellectual on the winning side.
Vaclav Havel
The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning - in other words, of absurdity - the more energetically meaning is sought.
Vaclav Havel
Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
Vaclav Havel
I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military divisions.
Vaclav Havel
Sometimes I wonder if suicides aren't in fact sad guardians of the meaning of life.
Vaclav Havel
Drama assumes an order. If only so that it might have - by disrupting that order - a way of surprising.
Vaclav Havel
There are times when we must sink to the bottom of our misery to understand truth, just as we must descend to the bottom of a well to see the stars in broad daylight.
Vaclav Havel
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.
Vaclav Havel
What's certain is that a totalitarian enclave like Cuba's can't continue to exist, so change will definitely come there, eventually.
Vaclav Havel
The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.
Vaclav Havel
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