My Crazy CenturyIvan Klíma
13 January 2014
Published by Grove Press
Spanning six decades that included war, totalitarianism, censorship, and the fight for democracy, My Crazy Century reflects on Ivan Klíma’s remarkable life while also looking at this critical period of twentieth-century history. From World War Two to the oppressive grip of Communism, from the brief hope of freedom during the Prague Spring of 1968 to the eventual collapse of the regime in 1989’s Velvet Revolution, Klíma’s revelatory account contemplates the ways in which this crazy century led mankind astray and impacted the lives of not only Klíma’s generation but today’s generations still grappling with totalitarian societies.
Including an appendix of insightful essays that compliment each chapter – on topics ranging from social history and political thinking to love and liberty – My Crazy Century provides a profoundly rich and moving personal and national history.
A harrowing yet often uplifting account of living and working under totalitarian rule
His [Klima's] impassioned memoir is emblematic of Czechoslovakia's struggle - and perhaps the struggle of much of central Europe - during the dark years between the Second World War and the 'Velvet Revolution' of 1989.
As a writer, Klima is more reporter than fantasist. He observes and broods and then he writes it down... Klima has never been one for account-settling and acerbity and My Crazy Century is as interesting for its ruminative account of his emotional and personal turmoils as it is for its chronicling of postwar Czech history.
More than a memoir of an extraordinary life, it is an account of an age - and of the destructiveness of successive and symbiotic forms of totalitarianism, and of a critical intelligence that survived them.