I Cherish A Certain Hope: VACLAV HAVEL

No longer President of Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel talks about his country's breakup, his political future and the importance of good taste in public affairs

The deepest layer of Prague is spiky, medieval, dark with coal dust. For years Vaclav Havel could look out from his dilapidated apartment building, across the fast, shallow Vltava River, and see the castle on the hill -- Hradcany, the high, elaborate complex that dominates the city. He could cross the river by the 14th century Charles Bridge, lined on either side with beseeching, tormented statuary -- church fathers, age-blackened saints.

On top of the medieval lies Prague's socialist layer, the residue of neglect and cynicism, the peeling paint, the shop shelves half empty from the day before yesterday when the...

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