In response to:

A Little History Lesson from the November 22, 1984 issue

To the Editors:

The treatment of Jaroslav Seifert in his native Czechoslovakia adds a sad postscript to Milan Kundera’s article [NYR, November 22, 1984]. Up to last September, the police routinely confiscated his poems as corpus delecti during house searches. The charges against Jirina Siklová, a sociologist, included attempting to send Seifert’s manuscripts and documentation about him to the Nobel prize nominating committee; she was detained for nearly a year. The eighty-two-year-old Seifert, the only Czechoslovak Nobel laureate in literature, the last president of the Writers’ Union dissolved in 1969, and a signatory of the human rights manifesto, Charter ’77, remains bedridden in a Plague hospital. According to samizdat sources, access to him is barred by two policemen, barely disguised by their white coats.

Zdenka Brodska

Mary Hrabik Samal

Farmington Hills, Michigan

This Issue

January 31, 1985