Miroslav Holub

Miroslav Holub is an immunologist, poet and essayist living in Prague.

Chemical Common Sense

Miroslav Holub, 4 July 1996

The ‘courage of not knowing’ is in fashion among artists nowadays and the new democracies of Central Europe excel in it. Science is almost a dirty word, or, at best, simply one of many ways to acquire knowledge. Publishers and editors seem to believe that the broad public underwent a mutation after 1989 when they started to hate molecular genetics, taking up instead with psychedelic phenomena and the works of St Augustine. It is, in many ways, an interesting situation; the new political freedom in Central Europe looks likely to bear the imprint of its first contacts with types of thinking – and behaviour – that were previously embargoed: already phenomenology, Post-Modernism and a rehash of the Beat movement dominate the scene. Intellectual standards in the media have risen considerably, but science is on the whole excluded, largely because it is politically suspect, having enjoyed a reasonable degree of freedom under the communists. It is also true that Teilhard de Chardin is a rather easier read than Dobzhansky and that Husserl, Lyotard and Lévi-Strauss have had the advantage of a good introduction, represented as they are by influential and eloquent Czech followers.’’

Diary: In Prague

Miroslav Holub, 14 June 1990

One of the latest cartoons by Vladimir Rencin – who belongs to that strong group of poets of the political drawing which flourished in this country during the Seventies and Eighties – shows two middle-class gentlemen with glum crestfallen faces. The gents are saying: ‘The good old times – wine, women and the Communist Party … ’’

Puck’s Dream

Mark Ford, 14 June 1990

D.J. Enright recently celebrated his 70th birthday. In commemoration, Oxford University Press have prepared a rather lean Selected Poems, and a volume of personal reminiscences and critical...

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Tom Paulin, 1 August 1985

Recently I received a somewhat smug letter from one of the editors of PN Review asking me to contribute to yet another symposium on the state of critical chassis which still persists in Great...

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