This biography is the first to pay close attention to Havel’s poetry and to place his later work as a writer of plays, essays, prison letters and presidential speeches in the context of his poetic beginnings, his formative stylistic and philosophical influences, and his lifelong rivalry with slightly older poets who turned, as he did, to other genres. Through a reading of Havel’s complete works in Czech, including first drafts of his plays and his voluminous correspondence, Williams produces a rounded picture of a man of courage and paradoxes.
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