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Lecture and Seminar by Peter Steiner
Please join us this Friday, March 10th at 3:00pm for a lecture by Peter Steiner entitled, “The Unsung Hero of the Velvet Revolution: Václav Havel’s Greengrocer”. The lecture will be in the Young Research Library’s Main Conference Room 11360 (located behind the coffee shop on the main floor). The event features a one-day showcase of Havel’s and Steiner’s publications. Light refreshments will be provided. We encourage you to read the digest and/or paper draft before attendance.
There will also be a graduate seminar with Peter Steiner on Slavic Literary Theory on Tuesday, March 14th at 5:15pm in 305 Kaplan Hall. Everyone is welcome to attendance, no registration is required.
“The Unsung Hero” is a detailed analysis of Havel’s most famous political essay “The Power of the Powerless” focusing on its main character, a hapless greengrocer who, according to Havel was forced by those in power to display in his shop window an ideological slogan “Proletarians of all lands unite!” This message, however, was utterly alien to him; thus, he acquiesced to “living a lie [žít ve lži].” The essay questions both the content of the Marxist catchphrase Havel’s vendor was supposedly forced to foist on his customers as well as his motivation for doing so.