Vaclav Havel

Czech statesman, writer and former dissident

Lived from: 1936-2011

Category: Politics | Writers (Contemporary)

Quotes: Vaclav Havel

Quotes 1 till 15 of 22.

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  • Vaclav Havel
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    A human action becomes genuinely important when it springs from the soil of a clear-sighted awareness of the temporality and the ephemerally of everything human. It is only this awareness that can breathe any greatness into an action.
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    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.
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    Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not.
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    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.
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    Drama assumes an order. If only so that it might have - by disrupting that order - a way of surprising.
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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.
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    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.
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    I think theatre should always be somewhat suspect.
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    If you want to see your plays performed the way you wrote them, become President.
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    Just as the constant increase of entropy is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy.
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    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.
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    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.
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    People who live in the post-totalitarian system know only too well that the question of whether one or several political parties are in power, and how these parties define and label themselves, is of far less importance than the question of whether or not it is possible to live like a human being.
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    Sometimes I wonder if suicides aren't in fact sad guardians of the meaning of life.
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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.
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