Frases de Václav Havel

Václav Havel Foto
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Václav Havel

Fecha de nacimiento: 5. Octubre 1936
Fecha de muerte: 18. Diciembre 2011
Otros nombres: वैक्लेव हैवेल

Václav Havel [1]​ fue un político, escritor y dramaturgo checo. Fue el último presidente de Checoslovaquia y el primer presidente de la República Checa. Wikipedia

„Si deseas ver tus obras representadas de la forma en que las escribiste, conviértete en presidente.“

—  Václav Havel

Fuente: Discurso al Instituto de Artes Contemporáneas de Londres, citado en The Independent, Londres (24 de marzo de 1990)

„La verdad es que vivo en un sistema en el que las palabras son capaces de sacudir toda la estructura del gobierno, donde las palabras pueden ser más poderosas que diez divisiones militares.“

—  Václav Havel

Fuente: Discurso de octubre de 1989, aceptando el premio de la paz, citado en The Independent, Londres (9 de diciembre de 1989)

„Incluso un acto puramente moral que no tenga ninguna esperanza de un efecto político inmediato y visible puede gradual e indirectamente, con el tiempo, ir ganando en importancia política.“

—  Václav Havel

Fuente: Carta al presidente del hundido Partido Comunista Checoslovaco, Alexander Dubček (Agosto de 1969), y compilado en Disturbing the Peace (1986), Cap. 5 : The Politics of Hope, pág. 115

„The worst thing is that we live in a contaminated moral environment. We fell morally ill because we became used to saying something different from what we thought.“

—  Václav Havel

New Year's Address to the Nation (1990)
Contexto: The worst thing is that we live in a contaminated moral environment. We fell morally ill because we became used to saying something different from what we thought. We learned not to believe in anything, to ignore one another, to care only about ourselves. Concepts such as love, friendship, compassion, humility or forgiveness lost their depth and dimension, and for many of us they represented only psychological peculiarities, or they resembled gone-astray greetings from ancient times, a little ridiculous in the era of computers and spaceships.

„Establishing respect for the law does not automatically ensure a better life for that, after all, is a job for people and not for laws and institutions.“

—  Václav Havel, libro The Power of the Powerless

Living in Truth (1986), The Power of the Powerless
Contexto: The law is only one of several imperfect and more or less external ways of defending what is better in life against what is worse. By itself, the law can never create anything better... Establishing respect for the law does not automatically ensure a better life for that, after all, is a job for people and not for laws and institutions.

„We should not forget any of those who paid for our present freedom in one way or another.“

—  Václav Havel

New Year's Address to the Nation (1990)
Contexto: Those who rebelled against totalitarian rule and those who simply managed to remain themselves and think freely, were all persecuted. We should not forget any of those who paid for our present freedom in one way or another.

„There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world.“

—  Václav Havel

Address upon receiving the Open Society Prize awarded by Central European University (24 June 1999) http://old.hrad.cz/president/Havel/speeches/1999/2406_uk.html
Variant translation: There are no exact directions. There are probably no directions at all. The only things that I am able to recommend at this moment are: a sense of humour; an ability to see the ridiculous and the absurd dimensions of things; an ability to laugh about others as well as about ourselves; a sense of irony; and, of everything that invites parody in this world. In other words: rising above things, or looking at them from a distance; sensibility to the hidden presence of all the more dangerous types of conceit in others, as well as in ourselves; good cheer; an unostentatious certainty of the meaning of things; gratitude for the gift of life and courage to assume responsibility for it; and, a vigilant mind.
Those who have not lost the ability to recognize that which is laughable in themselves, or their own nothingness, are not arrogant, nor are they enemies of an Open Society. Its enemy is a person with a fiercely serious countenance and burning eyes.
Contexto: There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance. Awareness of all the most dangerous kinds of vanity, both in others and in ourselves. A good mind. A modest certainty about the meaning of things. Gratitude for the gift of life and the courage to take responsibility for it. Vigilance of spirit.

„The idea of human rights and freedoms must be an integral part of any meaningful world order.“

—  Václav Havel

The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World (1994)
Contexto: The idea of human rights and freedoms must be an integral part of any meaningful world order. Yet, I think it must be anchored in a different place, and in a different way, than has been the case so far. If it is to be more than just a slogan mocked by half the world, it cannot be expressed in the language of a departing era, and it must not be mere froth floating on the subsiding waters of faith in a purely scientific relationship to the world.

„There can be no doubt that distrust of words is less harmful than unwarranted trust in them.“

—  Václav Havel

Speech of October 1989, accepting a peace prize; quoted in The Independent, London (9 December 1989)
Contexto: There can be no doubt that distrust of words is less harmful than unwarranted trust in them. Besides, to distrust words, and indict them for the horrors that might slumber unobtrusively within them — isn't this, after all, the true vocation of the intellectual?

„What is needed in politics is not the ability to lie but rather the sensibility to know when, where, how and to whom to say things.“

—  Václav Havel

International Herald Tribune (29 October 1991)
Variant translation: If your heart is in the right place and you have good taste, not only will you pass muster in politics, you are destined for it. If you are modest and do not lust after power, not only are you suited to politics, you absolutely belong there.
Contexto: When a man has his heart in the right place and good taste, he can not only do well in politics but is even predetermined for it. If someone is modest and does not yearn for power, he is certainly not ill-equipped to engage in politics; on the contrary, he belongs there. What is needed in politics is not the ability to lie but rather the sensibility to know when, where, how and to whom to say things.

„Cultural conflicts are increasing and are understandably more dangerous today than at any other time in history.“

—  Václav Havel

The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World (1994)
Contexto: Cultural conflicts are increasing and are understandably more dangerous today than at any other time in history. The end of the era of rationalism has been catastrophic. Armed with the same supermodern weapons, often from the same suppliers, and followed by television cameras, the members of various tribal cults are at war with one another.

„Life cannot be destroyed for good, neither … can history be brought entirely to a halt.“

—  Václav Havel

Open letter to Dr. Gustáv Husák, Communist President (8 April 1975)
Contexto: Life cannot be destroyed for good, neither … can history be brought entirely to a halt. A secret streamlet trickles on beneath the heavy lid of inertia and pseudo-events, slowly and inconspicuously undercutting it. It may be a long process, but one day it must happen: the lid will no longer hold and will start to crack. This is the moment when something once more begins visibly to happen, something truly new and unique … something truly historical, in the sense that history again demands to be heard.

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