Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Talk "Political views and indeological standpoints of the representtives of Czech underground culture in the socialist Czechoslovakia." by Martin Machovec

Tue, April 26, 2011 | UTC 4.112

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Dr. Martin Machovec literary critic, translator, editor and expert on the Czech underground scene, he teaches at Charles University in Prague. 

"At the age of twenty today

you feel like vomiting all day"

The history of the Czech underground begins with the arrival and ends with the collapse of the totalitarian, Stalinist and later neo-Stalinist regime. The Czech underground sought to preserve authentic cultural values, undistorted by totalitarian demagogy and ideology through an insistence on the continuity of a creative process unconstrained by any kind of censorship or taboo. In this sense the Czech underground or 'podzemi' was from its inception remarkably similar to the medieval Jewish ghetto, where enough room was preserved for inner freedom, despite isolation from the world outside. Thus the Czech cultural underground was always a question of politics, since its very existence amounted to an indirect indictment of an inhuman political system.

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