Jan Patočka

The German Spirit in Beethoven’s Era

In the history of the human spirit, the seventy‑and‑five years of Beethoven’s lifetime span a closed period. This was a time of a future burgeoning yet not destined to ever become present, and of a past retrieved in its full specificity only to bring about sharp awareness of universal irretrievability. It was the last station on Europe’s path towards hubris of power, a rush for world dominance, and the subsequent catastrophe.

Josef Čapek, a Limping Pilgrim

Josef Čapek is less brilliant, less the virtuoso, less extrovert than the other Čapek Dioscurus. It might sound paradoxical, but Josef Čapek – painter, man of the world of shapes and colours, space, the external – is infinitely more introverted. And his art! This introversion made a thinker of Josef Čapek. But not a thinker in any professional sense. After reading all the books and essays in which Čapek immerses himself deepest in those issues that matter to him most we will not hesitate to deny him the title of philosopher.