Final Word from Tuesday, December 3, 2019

We live in the era of destruction, during which the Western world is systematically tearing down many of the monuments of its civilization built over generations, some of which were good and some bad. By accepting the return of his Czech citizenship after 40 years, writer Milan Kundera is contributing to this destructive process. He's seeking to tear down what his wife suggests was a statue of hate carefully erected against him by Václav Havel and Pavel Tigrid, who supposedly feared that Kundera could usurp Havel's rightful place as the symbol in the West of anti-Communist dissent. Setting the record straight also means chipping away at the pedestal on which Havel's reputation stands. Amb. to France Petr Drulák wrote in Právo today that Communist apparatchik Marián Čalfa took up where Tigrid left off in the task of "creating" Havel. "Let's put aside for now any interpretation of this," Drulák writes. Sadly, in the era of destruction there are no real winners. [ Czech Republic ambassador Host magazine Věra Kunderová CIA ]

Glossary of difficult words

to set the record straight - to put right a mistake or misunderstanding;

to chip away at - to break off fragments of something.

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