Dennis C. Beck
Subverting the State by Excavating the Nation in "Normalized" Czechoslovakia
To speak of a national theatre most often conjures up the image of an institution, a building, a company funded by and perhaps intimately connected to a state. A nation, however, pace Johann Gottfried von Herder, arises from the language, traditions, and myths that unite individuals into a people. The relationship between the individual's beliefs and identity and those of the larger community constitutes, therefore, the binding force of nationhood. Theatre, as the art that intrinsically mediates between the individual and the communal (in its audience-performer relationship, creative methods, and the themes it has historically addressed), possesses a powerful potential to open up national questions and even, during particular performances, manifest the nation in microcosm. When states fail to represent the nation(s) they govern, theatre, as a result, may function as a dissident, oppositional platform to the state in its excavation of that which binds a nation. A small group of Czech theatres in the 1970s and 80s would assume such a role and become, for a time, the de facto national theatres of the Czech people to a degree that would allow them to play a key role in the direction of the "velvet" revolution of 1989. Even in the way these "authorial" theatres emerged and rose to prominence they reflected their nation's traditions.
Recognizing theatre's usefulness in the nationalist enterprise, many states built national theatres in the 19th century. Most compelling, however, were those nations lacking states that nonetheless established national theatres. Whereas a French nation near statehood prompted its enlighteners to "conceive of theatre as the emancipating catalyst of a present and ready nation," German intellectuals like Schiller, lacking such national coherence and extant state mechanisms, conceived of a national theatre that would function as much "as a surrogate for a united nation as the herald of its arrival" (Kruger 85).
In that spirit, Czechs conceived and built the world's first national theatre funded by private donations, by the nation itself, rather than the state. The building, however, was a mere symbol of the true locus of Czech theatrical nationhood, as its company and repertory had been established twenty years before as the Provisional Theatre (Prozatimní divadlo), a historical echo of Josef Kajetán Tyl's Kajentánka theatre (Kajetánské divadlo), founded in 1834, which was the "first independent Czech national theatre" according to historian Jaromír Kazda (Kazda 62). There Tyl gathered the likes of Josef Jiří Kolár, future leader of the Provisional, Karel Hynek Mácha, Karel Sabina, and others who would eventually influence and create Czech literature, theatre, and history at a time when Czech identity and language were threatened. Portability marks Czech theatrical nationhood, therefore, as it does individual nationality. Nationally identified company is to architecture as national identity is to state. As the Czech state took control of national affairs in 1918, so too would the National Theatre building begin a connection with the state that would hinder its artists from reflecting national aspirations and identity in times when the state required political correctness or was perceived as failing to serve and reflect the nation.
Political caution would mean that the National Theatre's function of reflecting theatrical nationhood would be perceived to transfer between the world wars to the Liberated Theatre (Osvobozené divadlo) of Voskovec and Werich, which Jarka Burian observes, "became, in fact, the national theatre" (Burian, "The Liberated Theatre" 175). Theatrical nationhood, assumed by small and short-lived theatres during WWII, suffered from suppression and ambivalence toward the nation's relationship to communism during the 1950s. Studio theatres in the 1960s, through experimental theatrical forms and poignant themes, would, like Czech political perspectives, undertake reform toward pluralism and liberalism, both of which were elements of recovered interwar national identity. Thus, the state was perceived as reformable into alignment with national identity, values, and traditions, summed up in the attempt to create "socialism with a human face." The representatives of theatrical nationhood, the studio theatres, worked, therefore, as they had during the interwar period, within the context of the state system and in the spirit of reform.
Shifting political and theatrical conditions underscore a second quality of the portability of the Czech's national theatre. Not only was it unbound to particular monuments but shifted to differing theatres as national needs shifted. Unlike the French or English, the Czech discourse on theatrical nationhood is found, like the American, "where it disperses through local, often incomplete, projects of historically illegitimate popular representation" (Kruger 28). Such dispersion, notes Loren Kruger in her study of national stages, "allows it to leave traces of and for the enactment of an alternative public sphere" (28). It was just such an alternative sphere, a manifest rejection of the idea of reforming the existing state system, that a new generation of national stages would help create in Czechoslovakia. In time that sphere would be known as the parallel polis.
It would take a decade for a new generation of studios, known as the authorial theatres (autorské divadla), to begin working with "dissidents" like Václav Havel, but both groups would arrive at similar conclusions. Havel's 1975 "Letter to Dr. Gustáv Husák" and even the "Declaration of Charter 77" in 1977, while diagnosing social and political ills, were implicit attempts to urge government reform. State reaction to Charter 77 would shift dissident perspective. Philosopher Václav Benda recognized that the parallel structures for the alternative sphere he proposed forming in 1978 already existed in the cultural realm and, in fact, were the model for his proposal ("Parallel 'Polis'" 37). Authorial theatre artists, younger than Havel, recognized the need early. Husa na Provázku artistic director, Petr Oslzlý, recalls his generation lost its faith "because in '68 we trusted partly to the Communists who would like to change things, . . . but afterwards we recognized that they were not powerful, or that they were so poisoned by Communist thinking, by Marxist thinking, that they were not able to change it" (Oslzlý 27 July 1997). The nation would need to organize its own supportive parallel structures.
"Dissident" and authorial theatre conceptions ran parallel in a second way. Havel took issue with being labeled a "dissident." A dissident, he argued, dissents from society's representative views and behaviors. The views of those branded dissidents by the state in "normalized" Czechoslovakia, however, did not "differ significantly from those of the majority of their fellow citizens" and, in a seeming paradox, they "constitute the less radical, more loyal, and more peaceful segment of the population" ("Anatomy" 165). Havel's use of the word "loyal" is significant here. Loyal to what? Obviously not to the state, but rather, in typical Czech understatement by implication, to the people, the nation. The state dissents, therefore, from the nation it claims to represent. Like literary "dissidents," Czech authorial theatres expressed the nation's goals and perspectives. As Havel noted of dissidents, the authorial theatres "differ[ed] from the majority in only one respect: they speak their mind openly, heedless of the consequences" (165). Although authorial statements were costumed in metaphor to enable their public expression, the companies' role as champions of national interests was no secret. The 1989 revolution, as the culmination, Ladislav Holý demonstrates, of a nationalist impulse, "an open revolt of the people against the state" (71), would make public the popular perception of Czech theatre artists' role and allegiance, as crowds chanted "long live the actors" during public demonstrations, in recognition of their leadership and moral courage, and were considered, notes Přemysl Rut, "prophets of a better tomorrow" (Ash 121; Rut 289-91). With the "overthrow of communist regime . . . seen as yet another national liberation" (Holý 51), the state came to represent the nation unequivocally for the first time since the First Republic. The nation to state relationship in which the authorial theatres operated, therefore, bore similarities to that of the 19 th-century. In each, the nation was beleaguered by a state unrepresentative of its interests. While Austro-Hungary made no pretense of directly representing the Czech nation, the communist Czechoslovak state did. Clarifying the state's dissent and separation from the nation, therefore, would form one of the authorial theatres' early nationalistic tasks.
Strategies of Repertory and Dramaturgy
Authorial theatres would address and accomplish a number of national goals in their twenty-year struggle to represent, educate, challenge, and honor the nation living within its audiences. In doing so, they would fulfill what Loren Kruger defines as the function of a national theatre and its dramatic texts to "share with the critical and legislative texts the task of representing not merely the question of national identity but also the anxiety and aspirations invested in the articulation and resolution of that question" (28). They would do so through two primary means. The first was their dramaturgical orientation, which I interpret here broadly to include organizational structures, theoretical orientations, and production methodologies. The second lay in their choice of play texts, their repertory.
Reflecting Czech national identity and values, but rejecting the hierarchic bureaucracy of the communist state, the authorial theatres organized themselves along the national principles of democracy and egalitarianism (Holý 72, 81). Collective creation and direct communication characterized their working methods. Implicitly they honored the national self-image of an educated and highly cultured people (Holý 77) by creating open performance texts. The use of open metaphor fulfilled a number of purposes related to national aspirations. Pragmatically, it worked as disguise. Imagery and metaphors, open to interpretation, in a literal reading yielded one meaning for authorizing officials (for example, Nazi Germany as an official enemy of the USSR in Theatre Goose on a String's Theatrum Anatomicum or Studio Ypsilon's Thirteen Aromas), while a metaphorical reading interpreted the same referents as critical of the communist regime (Nazis as the image of a totalitarian and occupying force). Secondly, the act of decoding the metaphor in ways that reflected a nationalistic understanding worked to further unify a national community of shared understandings reinforced through the recognized reactions of others in the audience. Third, it engaged the national traits of education and culture through the challenge of entertaining multiple meanings based on an awareness of multiple associations. In fact, the mining of multiple associations, through the deep study of periods, persons, and ideas formed the "creative method" of the authorial theatres, built upon an understanding of theatre as "a decoder . . . a study of the method of transformation" (Scherhaufer, "Divadlo" 75; Oslzlý 27 July 1995). Lastly, the open text respected the freedom of the individual to construct meaning, in sharp contrast to state-advocated, clearly prescribed aesthetics and messages. Pluralism, therefore, reflecting interwar Czechoslovak society's cross pollination of German, Jewish, and Czech culture, became yet another national value honored by the authorial theatres and parallel polis. Such a pluralism of perspectives, "the idea that no ideology, doctrine or political force should a priori and for all time . . . dominate all others," called into question the leading role of the Communist Party, noted Havel ("Cards" 133). By "attempt[ing] to create a kind of substitute plurality," political theorist Milan Šimečka saw, "through which pluralistic elements, mainly in thinking, enter society" (Šimečka 111), independent activity increasingly undermined ideological narrowness and created conditions for the emergence of "an authentic civil society" (Skilling 16).
In their theoretical underpinnings and dramaturgies the authorials also luxuriated in their "poverty." Poor theatre, delineated by Polish director Jerzy Grotowski, considers "the personal and scenic technique of the actor as the core of theatre art" (Grotowski 15). Freedom from complex and expensive sets, sound, costumes, and lighting meant liberation from the degree of external manipulation possible of high resource-dependent theatres and, most significantly, was perceived as direct and honest. Avoiding the sense that illusions were controlled by some backstage Oz-like "man behind the curtain," actors as creators and straightforward communicators of writers' and directors' ideas were perceived as one community with the audience. This communal sense was compounded through various means. Authorial performance space was reconfigured to fit the needs of each production (Oslzlý, "Smysl" 6), was fluid in that actors used audience areas as well as offstage areas for performance, and was intimate, with actors playing within, near, or even touching the audience. Their recognized bravery in expressing publicly what was banned in writing or discussed, as Havel notes, "privately or, at most, over beer" ("Anatomy" 165), also bound the community. Some of the most important work in this regard, however, was done outside the theatre's walls, as companies did everything possible to "attempt a testimony about reality and an offered account of reality, either subjective or objective, of its clashes, passions, chaoses or harmonies" (Oslzlý, "Smysl" 2). Informed by this objective, the companies stressed the importance of living a "normal" life. By living as others live-riding buses, raising families, going to pubs-authorial artists immersed themselves in the flow of society's common life in order to be personally affected by its predominant currents. Through the irreducible sensitivity such a life afforded, they spoke and created from personal experience, yet in a way inherently grounded in common social issues.
A leading authorial theatre, Divadlo Husa na Provázku, gave this shared approach a name: irregular or unorthodox dramaturgy (nepravidelná dramaturgie). Such a dramaturgy created its own texts (thus the prefix of "authorial") either as original plays or by combining pieces of prose, poetry, film scripts, factual literature, songs, puppetry, fragments of classics and other sources. This method not only gave authorials exceptional control over the content of their pieces but allowed them to circumvent most prior censorship. More than any other theatrical form, authorial theatre in Czechoslovakia thus became the stage partner of written samizdat. Both forged their own texts in conditions of proscription and both "created an island of liberty in a sea of tyranny, where people could write, dispute, reason, analyze, and invent as though they were free" (Wilson 138-39). From the perspective of 1990, Paul Wilson could conclude that "in doing so, they became, as we can see clearly now, the nemesis of the old society and an embryo of the new" (139). The authorial theatres' "irregularity" resonated in opposition to the state's program of "normalization." Authorial theatres reclaimed Czech cultural heritage by using its interwar avant-garde artists as inspiration and model at a time when the government derided and rejected elements of the First Republic, representative as it was of capitalism and democracy (Holý 141). In sharp contrast to the ideologically inflected objectivity of socialist realist doctrine, authorial performances expressed a sense of personal testimony. In conditions where the state mechanisms of information delivery consistently presented the false or partial in the guise of objective fact, the honest and subjective presented in a public sphere fostered trust. Moreover, the interactivity of such performances generated a welcome sense of conversation and inclusion in contrast to the state monologue. Meaning emerged, therefore, from the group (through collective creation as much as audience inclusion) as opposed to being imposed from above. The sense of conversation extended through the "irregular" concept of feedback (zpětná vazba), in which audience surveys and other, means of learning the views of spectators lent authorial artists an unparalleled insight into their compatriots' perspectives. The ultimate effect of such dramaturgical practices would be a pronounced sense and recognition of community in its audiences, who not only packed authorial houses for twenty years but often revisited a single production, came in groups, and expressed a sense of solidarity with its artists and other spectators (Scherhaufer, "Jedna" 204-06; "Anketa").
While authorial dramaturgy would inspire a consciousness that might "call the nation into being" through recognized community (as Schiller envisaged of a national theatre's purpose) (Kruger 92), their repertory would make them, as Schiller also conceived, a moralische Anstalt, a "moral institution" that would "offer ideal emancipation through aesthetic education, which ought to include and transcend political freedoms" (Kruger 85). Benda had recognized that "moral commitment and mission" were the basis of Charter 77 and the emerging parallel polis. They were, in fact, the dissidents' "choice of weapons" that the regime had "unwittingly accepted" ("Parallel" 36, 35). The repertory of the authorial theatres would seek, therefore, not to inspire vague national consciousness but a particular sense of national mission and identity.
Nearly every piece created by the leading authorial theatres (Husa na Provázku, HaDivadlo, and Studio Ypsilon) fulfilled one or more of six strategic functions toward re-forming and inspiring national identification. The first was the most overt: to delineate the state from the nation, the "other" from the "we," and to characterize that "other." Often this was done through the understanding that, as both were totalitarian, Nazi served as metaphor for communist, perceived, Holý explains, "as yet another form of foreign domination which served first of all foreign - specifically Soviet - rather than Czech interests and, moreover, was alien to what the Czechs perceived as their national traditions" (51). At other times the "other" was Russia or an unnamed but fundamentally malevolent, insensitive, or absurd authority, as in HaDivadlo's Mirroring, where an authority's insensitivity leads to the death of artists, or its A Life of Lilac Colored Velvet, in which a 19th-century Russian spy finds himself spied upon by his own Chief of Police, degraded and victimized by the system he sought to serve (Šormová 52).
In dialectical relationship to the state "other," a second group of works asserted and defined national identity. That Czechs are a democratic people is one of the most important qualities of national self-definition (Holý 72, 81), and works like Provázek's Adalbert's Mission or From the Depths of European Culture (Adalbertovo poslání aneb Z hlubin evropské kultury) depicted Czechs as part of the main currents of European thought and democratic traditions largely attributed to the West. It also enacted the multi-cultural and multi-philosophical character of Central Europe, in contrast to which the cultural and ideological campaign of the Soviets represented a plan of deliberate erasure. Czechs identify their artistically vigorous nation as highly cultured and one in which, as Czech Germanic culture specialist Eduard Goldstücker observes, "culture has traditionally been put in a position where it has to be a representative of national interests, in other words, to take the place of the politicians, [therefore] every cultural act has its political implications" (qtd. in Holý 83). Pieces centered on artists depicted obstacles-ideological and political-that hinder realization of an artist's vision, as in Ypsilon's Michelangelo Buonarroti (1974) or HaDivadlo's Mirroring (1984). Others staged the work of poets or portrayed the power of a nationally honored artist in opposition to the state, as in Provázek's production of the Russian play about actor/musician Vladimír Vysocký, Concert at/V. . . (Koncert v . . ., 1988). Growing consciousness of artists as national leaders and representatives rebounded on the authorial theatres themselves, but such artists were often depicted as outsiders and outlaws. Ypsilon's Outsider, or the Biography of a Famous Man (1981), reacting to Charter 77, would herald a line of works designed to show the ability of a single person to affect history.
Defining national character would be related to three other strategies: to give testimony, to reclaim national culture, and to reconstruct national history. The performative method of offering personal testimony translated into content in the plays of HaDivadlo's Arnošt Goldflam or, most threateningly, the Cesty Project (1983-84), in which every authorial theatre collaborated. The project, with its motifs of "crossroads, timetables, and meetings," marked one of the most overt testimonies following Charter 77 that some quality deeper than official, structural similarity or status bound together individuals and groups. As such, it represented a statement of affiliation with other members of the parallel polis and one of its earliest open, public acts. As Jiří Voráč relates, the sense of the event was not only to manifest the generational unity but mainly to declare openly the generation skepticism [sic] and civil disobedience, straightforward criticism of the state of political totalitarianism. This unique project gained a vivid reaction of the audiences as well as of the critics, and with an angry reaction of the power. (Voráč 20)
The theme of artists as representative of the nation lent the qualities of personal testimony a resonance they would have lacked in other circumstances. It also compounded the legitimacy of the authorial artists to reclaim national culture. In some cases, as in HaDivadlo's staging of Kafka's The Trial, they did so by mounting banned works of deceased authors or of national classics such as Smetana's The Bartered Bride, or works of the interwar avant-garde, such as Voskovec and Werich's Dynamite Island (Ostrov Dynamit, 1978) (both at Ypsilon). Most riskily, however, they performed works by living writers banned under "normalization." Poets, such as Jan Skácel, had their work not only performed by Provázek but published in a playbill of the entire performed text. More controversial was the performed work, under pseudonym, of banned playwrights, such as Milan Uhde and Václav Havel, whose play Tomorrow We will Start It (Zítra to spustíme, 1988) traced the efforts of Alois Rašín, once sentenced to death by the Viennese government for high treason, to create an independent Czechoslovak state in 1918. While Masaryk had negotiated from outside the country, Rašín had been the principal exponent of a free Czechoslovakia from within its borders, arranging secret meetings and coordinating "dissident" activities. The piece was blatantly nationalistic and also served the function of excavating a nationally oriented history. From local histories, such as HaDivadlo's Comedy about a Frightening Murder in Sviadnov's Inn A.D. 1715, to those of national fame, the authorial theatres reconstructed a past recalled by Czechs in their legends, national texts, and common understandings, rather than manipulated or erased to serve the interests of a state or economic class.
In the authorial theatre's collaborative project on Karel Sabina, traitor to the nation and librettist of the national opera, The Bartered Bride, all strategic functions served by authorial repertories coalesced and clearly underscored the sixth and most complex: that of excavating and critiquing the Czech character. Karel Sabina was pressured by the Austrian government into spying on his revolutionary peers following his release from a life-term in prison commuted from an original sentence of death for his 1848 revolutionary activities. From Ypsilon's bold production of the opera, which had been denied them for years, to Provázek's biographical examination of Sabina's dilemma, to HaDivadlo's presentation of the gap between the biographical actualities and received myths surrounding 19th-century Czech national figures, the related but independent performances presented a critique of the distance that often separated Czech behavior and character from the ideal of Czech national identity and aspirations. Ypsilon had begun such an analysis with Thirteen Aromas (Třináct vůní) in 1975, in which a young girl's bravery, selflessness, and truthfulness are contrasted with her parents' generation's cowardice, rationalizations, and hypocrisy. Jan Dvořák assessed that Ypsilon, "made the sting of analysis of the Czech national character sound for the first time, whipping as cruelly as deskinning our conscience, whipping our thinking and especially our indifference and complacency" (Dvořák 34-35). Presenting the discrepancy between ideal national identity and current behavior served as a challenge to audiences. Holý explains that
when the ideal embodied in the tradition is contrasted with the perceived real situation, the hollowness of the ideal is of course revealed, but the ideal is not rejected; instead, the discrepancy between it and the real situation is used to stress the urgency of a more determined effort to secure it. (86)
Whipping the Czech conscience and sense of complacency challenged audience members to defend and dare to represent the nation's qualities, which the communist system, it seemed, was weaning out of the Czech people. It gave them personal and social tasks, as would the goal Havel presented in "The Power of the Powerless," to live within the truth in rejection of the state's lies.
None of the authorial companies set out to be a political or national theatre. The personal, however, in conditions where compliance with the Party line was demanded, became political, as Provázek's Oslzlý explains:
We didn't do it as a political theatre, but we had to explain and to express our life, and our feelings, our hopes, the reduction of our hopes, the end of our hopes, etcetera. And that's why we were in this situation. . . . Even nonsense poetry was very political after we explained it through our experiences. (Oslzlý 27 July 1997)
Emerging from groups of people working through collective creation, authorial explanations and expressions were based inherently in their shared lives, feelings, and hopes. What each shared most apparently were feelings and understandings related to their threatened nation. As their theatrical forebears had helped rescue the Czech language from extinction in the 19th century, the authorial theatres helped revive and unify a threatened nation. Their role and eventual consciousness of it found an image in a 1988 co-production by HaDivadlo and Provázek, which the companies were playing in Prague on the night that the revolution began. The performed magazine they called Rozrazil contained a number of short "articles," including Havel's play about the founding of the Czechoslovak state. At its conclusion, in low light and to the accompaniment of Viktor Dyk's poetry celebrating the free Czechoslovak state of 1918, the cast of both companies brought out a large piece of fabric, which they caressed, supported, passed from one to another, draped themselves in, and finally opened completely. The national flag, created with the founding of national sovereignty in the Czechoslovak state of seventy years earlier, was revealed, stretched between and linking together every member the project.
1. See my doctoral dissertation, "The Czech Authorial Studio Theatres, 1968-89: Twenty Years of Rehearsing the Revolution" (University of Texas, 1998) for a full consideration of the role played by the authorial theatres in the revolution and conditions leading up to it.
2. This understands the First Republic as having been resumed essentially between 1945 and 1948, as the constitutional documents remained unaltered.
3. Authorial theatres passed through the first round of censorship (that of the written text) by presenting relatively vague ideas, a plethora of possible materials from which the piece may be constructed, or incomplete material, with the argument that their approach creates the written text with the performance text in rehearsals and therefore cannot be offered in full beforehand (Schmid 12 Feb. 1997).
4. Provocatively, the Czech title is Outsider aneb životopis slavného muže, with the word "outsider" in English.
5. Despite considering their nation as inherently democratic, highly cultured and educated, Ladislav Holý's surveys found that Czechs see themselves as "envious, resentful, conformist, cunning, and egotistic . . . . petty-minded, intellectually limited, and mediocre" (77).
6. As a marker of perceived authorial theatre support of the nation, following the revolution, Petr Oslzlý would be named Havel's cultural advisor; Jan Schmid, director of Ypsilon, would direct at the National Theatre, as would Arnošt Goldflam of HaDivadlo, while J.A. Pitinský, who had worked at both HaDivadlo and Provázek would mount multiple productions there. Also, for nearly all of the 1990s, authorial theatre artists were appointed the artistic directors of the drama section of the National Theatre (Ivan Rajmont of Činoherní studio Ustí nad Labem, which adopted authorial dramaturgy and its orientation in the late 1970s, and Josef Kovalčuk, dramaturg of HaDivadlo).
"Anketa diváků." Audience Questionnaire to Červený smích." Divadlo Husa na provázku archive, Brno, Czech Republic.
Ash, Timothy Garton. The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague. New York: Random House, 1990.
Benda, Václav. "The Parallel 'Polis'." Civic Freedom in Central Europe: Voices from Czechoslovakia. Ed. H. Gordon Skilling and Paul Wilson. London: Macmillan, 1991. 35-41.
---. "Václav Benda." Civic Freedom in Central Europe: Voices from Czechoslovakia. Ed. H. Gordon Skilling and Paul Wilson. London: Macmillan, 1991. 48-56.
Burian, Jarka. "The Liberated Theatre of Voskovec and Werich." Educational Theatre Journal 29.2 (May 1977): 153-177.
Dvořák, Jan. Divadlo v akci. Praha: Panorama, 1988.
Grotowski, Jerzy. Towards a Poor Theatre. New York: Touchstone, 1968.
Havel, Václav. "An Anatomy of Reticence." Trans. E. Kohák. Václav Havel or Living in Truth. Ed. Jan Vladislav. London: Faber and Faber, 1986. 164-196.
---. "Cards on the Table." Civic Freedom in Central Europe: Voices from Czechoslovakia. Ed. H. Gordon Skilling and Paul Wilson. London: Macmillan, 1991. 131-134.
---. "Letter to Dr. Gustáv Husák, General Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party." Trans. Paul Wilson. Václav Havel or Living in Truth. Ed. Jan Vladislav. London: Faber and Faber, 1986. 3-35.
---. "The Power of the Powerless." Trans. Paul Wilson. Václav Havel or Living in Truth. Ed. Jan Vladislav. London: Faber and Faber, 1986. 36-122.
Holý, Ladislav. The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation: National Identity and the Post-communist Transformation of Society. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996.
Kazda, Jaromír. A Guide to the History of Czech Theatre. Trans. Anna Bryson. Prague: Divadelní akademie muzických umění, 1994.
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Oslzlý, Petr. Personal Interview. 27 July 1995.
---. "Smysl nepravidelnosti." Program SD Brno '82. Brno: Státní divadlo v Brně, 1982. 2-8.
Rut, Přemysl. "The State of the Czech Theatre." New Theatre Quarterly 27 (Aug 1991): 289-291.
Scherhaufer, Peter. "Divadlo na provázku--model 1970." Divadlo 13.2 (1970): 71-77.
---. "Jedna, dvě, tři, čtyři, pět, cos' to janku, cos' to . . ." Statní divadlo Brno program. Brno: SD Brno, Jan. 1984. 204-07.
Schmid, Jan. Personal Interview. 12 February 1997.
Seton-Watson, Hugh. Eastern Europe Between the Wars, 1918-1941. 1945. 3rd revised ed. New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1967.
Skilling, H. Gordon. "Introductory Essay." Civic Freedom in Central Europe: Voices from Czechoslovakia. Ed. H. Gordon Skilling and Paul Wilson. London: Macmillan, 1991. 3-32.
Šimečka, Milan. Civic Freedom in Central Europe: Voices from Czechoslovakia. Ed. H. Gordon Skilling and Paul Wilson. London: Macmillan, 1991. 109-112.
Šormová, Eva. "Zrcadlení." Pokus o zachycení specifiky tvorby. Ed. Vlasta Gallerová. Prague: Svaz českých dramatických umělců, 1985. 43-61.
Voráč, Jiří. "The Dissident Muse: Critical Theatre in Former Czechoslovakia 1945-1989." Dissident Muse: The Critical Theatre in Eastern and Central Europe, 1945-1989. Country Reports. Report on the Symposium. Blue Report 1. Amsterdam: Theater Instituut Nederland, March 1996.
Wilson, Paul. "Living Intellects: An Introduction." Good-bye, Samizdat: Twenty Years of Czechoslovak Underground Writing. Ed. Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 1992. 137-41.
© D.C. Beck