Václav Havel, The Vaněk Plays: Audience, Vernisáž (Unveiling), Protest

Mary Orsak (Yale University); Karen von Kunes (Yale University)
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The trilogy of one-act plays by Václav Havel,






] and


(the first two written in 1975 and the third in 1978), are often known as the Vaněk plays (“vaňkovky” in Czech) because they are connected through the character Ferdinand Vaněk, whose biography closely resembles the author’s: a former playwright prohibited from publicly staging his plays and resigned to working in a brewery. Havel initially wrote




to amuse his friends, but they were among his most successful both domestically and internationally. While the character of Vaněk links the trilogy into one series,


emerged from a radically different political reality in Czechoslovakia, with a dramatic increase of dissident activity in the later 1970s, in which…

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Citation: Orsak, Mary, Karen von Kunes. "The Vaněk Plays: Audience, Vernisáž (Unveiling), Protest". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=40572, accessed 12 June 2024.]

40572 The Vaněk Plays: Audience, Vernisáž (Unveiling), Protest 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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