Letters from Prison
Publication Date: April 2002
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Cultural Writing. Translation. Translated from the Czech and Slovak by Gerald Turner. Foreword by Vaclav Havel. The letters printed in this volume were written during Milan Simecka's stay in prison (the author's crime: smuggling his texts out of the country to be published abroad.) Not allowed to mention politics, Simecka--one of the most widely translated dissidents opposing the Communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia--wrote instead about people and human relations. The selection presented here contains philosophical reflections as well as practical advice for his wife and sons, bearing witness to both his attitude towards others and to the period in which he lived. Similar to Vaclav Havel's Letters to Olga, Simecka's LETTERS FROM PRISON give us a glimpse into the difficult struggle undertaken by Czechoslovak dissidents in opposition to a Soviet-style regime that was considered the most hard-line in Eastern Europe.