Theater 61 Press, a division of the Off-Broadway theater company Untitled Theater Co. #61, announces the November 2012 publication of The Havel Collection, a series of new translations of the work of Václav Havel. This series includes many of Havel's important works, from his first to his final. Every book includes translations that have never before been available. Along with the supporting material - 12 essays, photos, biographies, and more - they form a resource unavailable anywhere else.
Václav Havel first came to world attention as a playwright. Events and the power of his ideas launched him into the role of dissident, political prisoner, revolutionary, and finally, the President of Czechoslovakia (and later of The Czech Republic). Yet throughout all the world-altering events that placed him in the center of history, Havel felt that his essential calling was still the same: he was a man of the theater, a writer of absurdist drama.
Václav Havel passed away in December 2011. The series is being released in honor of what would have been his 76tth birthday and the 23rd anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the Czechoslovak revolution led by Havel which resulted in the downfall of the Communist regime.
The series includes the following volumes:
The Increased Difficulty of Concentration. A metaphysical farce, written by dissident Czechoslovak playwright (and future president) Václav Havel. Hummel, an academic, juggles lovers, philosophy, and the questions from a strange machine called Pazuk, while trying to make sense of his life. A new translation by St?pán Simek.
Leaving. The first play written by Václav Havel after his final term as President of The Czech Republic. Inspired by Lear and The Cherry Orchard, Havel writes of a man forced to leave the state-owned villa he has called home for years, when his time in public office has ended. A drama of ethics and politics with, as always, a touch of the absurd. This play has never before been published in the United States. It includes changes made by translator Paul Wilson during its American premiere.