Faces of the monthly Tvář
Havel, Uhde, Klaus - the three highest Czech statesmen appeared on February 7, 1996 at a ceremonial meeting of the editorial board of the journal Tvář, to which they contributed in the 1960s. The meeting took place on the occasion of the publication of a book anthology from the journal that was the first to break out of the yoke of communist ideology. Tvář was published under the patronage of the Writers’ Union from 1964 and was twice banned by a decision of the Communist Party’s ideological department. For the first time at the end of 1965 and for the second after the Soviet occupation in 1969. It was in the second period of the magazine's existence that the chairman of Tvář’s editorial board was the current president, Václav Havel. “Tvář was exceptional in that it was the first phenomenon that completely deviated from all ideological demands of the time and created a space for reflection on free thought,” Havel said, adding that attitudes were formed in the journal that are still appreciated today. “It is no coincidence that the highest current officials worked there,” he added. Although the President admitted that there were many disputes within the editorial team, culminating in the departure of individual authors, this did not seem significant to him over time. “What is important is the absolutely unique role that this small journal (with a circulation of around 3,000 copies - note LN) has played in a broader historical context,” emphasized Havel. In addition to Havel, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Milan Uhde and Prime Minister Václav Klaus also published in Tvář also took part in the event.
The pretext to meeting the editorial board of Tvář was the publication of an anthology of published articles prepared by Torst. The meeting was sponsored by the German foundation of Konrad Adenauer. In addition to authors of the period – who are currently politicians, “mere” authors of the period arrived at the meeting in the Prague’s Lávka club, namely - Bohumil Doležal, Jan Nedvěd, Emanuel Mandler, Jiří Němec and Zbyněk Hejda.Zdeněk Vašíček best summed up their efforts at the time, stating that while other journals followed the motto “If it is possible or not”, Tvář operated under the alternative “If it lies or not”.
Ondřej Neumann, LN 8. 2. 1996
Photography Karel Šuster