Blogging the Bookshelf

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“The Unbearable Lightness of Being” – Milan Kundera

March 7th, 2011 · No Comments · Communism, Leadership, Uncategorized

Now that Dubcek is back, things have changed, said Tereza. It was true: the general euphoria lasted no longer than the first week. The representatives of the country had been hauled away like criminals by the Russian army, no one knew where they were, everyone feared for the men’s lives, and hatred for the Russians drugged people like alcohol. It was a drunken carnival of hate. Czech towns were decorated with thousands of hand-painted posters bearing ironic texts, epigrams, poems, and cartoons of Brezhnev and his soldiers, jeered at by one and all as a circus of illiterates. But no carnival can go on forever. In the meantime, the Russians had forced the Czech representatives to sign a compromise agreement in Moscow. When Dubcek returned with them to Prague, he gave a speech over the radio. He was so devastated after his six-day detention he could hardly talk; he kept stuttering and gasping for breath, making long pauses between sentences, pauses lasting nearly thirty seconds.

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