Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel

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Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel messages and messengers of social change in Poland and Czechoslovakia
Whitney, Penny Norton
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129 leaves : ; 29 cm


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Since 1945 ( fast )
Politics and government ( fast )
Social conditions ( fast )
Social conditions -- Poland -- 1980- ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Poland -- 1989- ( lcsh )
Social conditions -- Czechoslovakia -- 1945-1992 ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Czechoslovakia -- 1989-1992 ( lcsh )
Czechoslovakia ( fast )
Poland ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, [Department of] Communication.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Peggy Norton Whitney.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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26891503 ( OCLC )
LD1190.L48 1992m .W44 ( lcc )


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MILOSZ, KONWICKI, AND HAVEL: MESSAGES AND MESSENGERS OF SOCIAL CHANGE IN POLAND AND CZECHOSLOVAKIA by Penny Norton Whitney B.A., Colorado College, 1969 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado of_ Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Communication 1992 ......... ... 11 i j ,.,. ...


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Penny Norton Whitney has been approved for the Department of Communication by Pamela Shockley I ., Adelina M. Gomez


Abstract Whitney, Penny Norton (Master, Communication) Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel: Messages and Messengers of Social Change in Poland and czechoslovakia During the last six months of 1989, the world witnessed one of the most stunning transformations of this century --the collapse of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Central .to an understanding of this significant social change event is an awareness of the importance of language and the writer within Eastern European countries. This study examined the question of the writer's role in the communication of social change in Poland and Czechoslovakia. The selected writers of focus were Czeslaw Milosz and Tadeusz Konwicki of Poland, and Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia. The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control by John Bowers and Donovan Ochs provided the model for investigating the relationship between writers and the communication of social change in Poland and Czechoslovakia. This thesis included an overview of the 1989 Revolution, the unique historical perspective of Eastern Europe, and biographical sketches of the representative


writers. Critical to this investigation was an understanding of the unique role of the writer in Eastern Europe and the writer within the totalitarian society. The study concluded with an analysis of the writer as agitator in the communication of social change in Poland and czechoslovakia. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.


CONTENTS CHAPTER 1. PRESENTATION OF THE PROBLEM Rationale Events in Eastern Europe. . The Link between Writer and Politics Choice of Representative Writers Research Question The Process of Communication and Social Change Bowers and Ochs Model of Social Change Methodology . 2. INTRODUCTION TO EASTERN EUROPE .. Overview of the 1989 Revolution . . Unique Historical Perspective of Eastern Europe. Biographical Sketches of Representative Writers. 3. THE UNIQUE ROLE OF THE WRITER IN EASTERN EUROPE 4. THE WRITER WITHIN THE TOTALITARIAN SOCIETY 5. THE WRITER AS AGITATOR Application of the Bowers and Ochs Model ... Petition the Establishment 1 1 1 3 7 8 10 20 26 39 39 44 47 55 74 94 94 102 Promulgation Solidification Polarization 104 Non-Violent Resistance 106 107 109


Escalation Revolution 6. CONCLUSION . BIBLIOGRAPHY 112 113 115 124


CHAPTER 1 PRESENTATION OF THE PROBLEM Rationale Events in Eastern Europe During the last six months of 1989, the world witnessed one of this century's most stunning transformations --the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe (Ash, 1990; Bowers, 1991). Indications of change first began to appear in Poland in February of 1989 when Polish authorities began debates regarding the legitimacy of Solidarity (Echikson, 1990). By August Solidarity had emerged as an electoral victor and had formed a non-communist government for Poland (Bowers, 1991) "In Poland it was an election. In Hungary it was a funeral: the funeral for Imre Nagy, just thirty-one years after his death" (Ash, 1990, p. 47). The ceremonial reburial of Imre Nagy, executed in 1958 for his role in Hungary's failed revolution, was merely a first symbolic step in a series of Hungarian moves that eventually led to the country;s ruling party, the Hungarian Social Worker Party, to repudiate its MarxistLeninist philosophy and rename itself . (Bowers, 1991, p. 130) Timothy Garton Ash, eyewitness historian to the events of 1989, reported "the Hungarian funeral was like the Polish


elections, a landmark in the post war history of Eastern Europe" (Ash, 1990, p. The October 1989 visit of Gorbachev to East Germany led to the ouster of the communist leader, Erick Honecker. Following shortly thereafter, Honecker's replacement, Egon Krenz, was also ousted (Bowers, 1991). November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down (Ash, 1990; Echikson, 1990). By the fall of 1990, unable to sustain itself politically or economically, East Germany was absorbed by the Federal of Germany (Bowers, 1991) Turbulence in Bulgaria followed the East German upheaval. On the day the Berlin Wall came down, Bulgarian communist leader, Todor Zhivhov was forced out of office after thirty-five years in power (Bowers, 1991). Like Honecker, by the end of 1989 Zhivhov was facing criminal charges (Bowers, 1991). czechoslovakia soon followed with what Ash describes as "the most delightful of all the year's Central European revolutions: the speed, the improvisation,. the merriness, and the absolutely central role of Vaclav Havel, who was at once director, playwright, stagemanager, and leading actor in this his greatest play" (Ash, 1990, p. 79). Under Havel's direction, the newly formed Civic Forum succeeded in ousting one of Europe's 2


most dogmatic regimes (Bowers, 1991). The bloody execution of the Romania communist ruler, Ceausescu, and his wife, Elena, "marked the final chapter in the most politically earthshaking period in post war East European history" (Bowers, 1991, p. 129). stephen Bowers, in his assessment of the unprecedented events of 1989, states that the clear tendency that emerges from these developments is that this was a rejection of communism--not a reform of communism (Bowers, 1991). The Link between Writer and Politics At the heart of the revolution of 1989 was the question of language, which posed the question of truth {Ash, 1990; Havel, 1991). The primary building blocks of language and literature are words. Words can be said to be the very source of our being, and in fact the very substance of the cosmic life form we call man. There has never been a time when a sense of the importance of words was not present in the human consciousness. We have always believed in the power of words to change history. (Havel, 1991, p. 378) An examination of the role of writers, men and women of words and their literature in the social change process in Eastern Europe requires an examination of the .relationship of the writer to politics. Freedom did not come to Eastern Europe as a gift from Moscow or Washington. It came from more than forty years of struggle --a daily, 3


grinding struggle against a corrupt and evil system. In Eastern Europe, the abstract notion of struggling for fundamental human rights and self determination came alive. The issues were not about power and money. They were about right and wrong, truth and lies. (Echikson, 1990, p. 3) The dramatic change which swept through Eastern Europe during 1989 did not happen overnight as it appeared to some Western observers (Echikson, 1990). The connection between politics and literature in Eastern Europe did not develop suddenly in 1989. "The almost inseparable union of politics and literature represents a phenomenon which must be recognized as an intrinsic characteristic of East European societies" (Kaplan, 1973, p. 199). In Eastern Europe the union of politics and literature is deeply rooted in tradition. Frank Kaplan (1973), in his examination of the writer as a political actor, contrasts the literature of the West to that of Eastern Europe. While in the West literature has generally failed to constitute a major dimension in the consideration of politics, authoritarian regimes have well recognized the power of the pen as best exemplified in the all too common practice of censorship including book banning and suppression of periodic publications, as well as the incarceration and even liquidation of authors and journalists. (Kaplan, 1973, p. 199) The writers in Eastern Europe used the one common factor which had not been totally suppressed --the spoken 4


language. Through the developed use of language, writers provided people with the feeling of self-identity and national consciousness (Kaplan, 1973). Using Herbert Passin's definition of "writer," Kaplan attempts to define a writer in Eastern Europe. It is necessary to visualize a continuum on which at one end is the author of belles lettres and at the other end a journalist (Kaplan, 1973). According to Passin, in a society which is in the process of change the writer is one who functions at both levels interchangeably. A writer does not necessarily need to focus on literature, but he/she can come from any discipline or profession. The determining factor most apparent among modernizing societies is the individual's desire to affect the course of national life by propagandizing his views or the ideals to which he adheres through journalistic endeavors. (Kaplan, 1973, p. 200) The phenomenon of the activist writer has become an intrinsic feature of all East European states where the pure author, in the traditional Western sense, has been a rare specimen (Kaplan, 1973). Because of the necessity for the writer in Eastern Europe to mix the focus of belles lettres and journalistic comment, writers who write creatively are more than likely to be contributors to newspapers or periodicals published by professional or mass 5


organizations (Kaplan, 1973; Napierkowski, personal communication, April 21, 1992). Therefore, the writer in Eastern Europe has traditionally utilized the press for more varied and often different purposes than has been the practice in the United States where a deeper awareness of professional separateness exists (Kaplan, 1973) Included in Kaplan's investigation was reference to an article by Edvard Goldstruecker, the 1968 chairman of the Czech Writers' Union, on the important role of the writer in the czech cultural tradition. The value of the critic's (the writer's) social involvement cannot be measured by the extent of his willingness to acceptinitiative from the outside. It must be measured by his ability to answer on the basis of his own concept of social responsibility, the questions which occupy his mind and those of his readers. It seems that social responsibility will prove extraordinary importance in the coming period. For it will determine the manner in which criticism (and creativity) will treat the expanding horizon of freedom whose contours are beginning to emerge from the mist. (Kaplan, 1973' p. 211) The contrast between the role of the writer in the political arena in Western Eurqpe and Eastern Europe is quite clear. In Western Europe modern nationalism was largely the creation of leading politicians and statesmen; in Eastern Europe, it was the poet, the historian, and the philosopher who were the fathers of 6


nations (Ash, 1989; Echikson, 1990; Kaplan, 1973). In the Eastern European countries, it was the writer/political activist who led the non-militant rebellion of the people. The writer, as has been the historic role, served as the catalyst of social change (Kaplan, 1973). Choice of Representative Writers The selection of Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright, essayist, and social activist, as the President of Czechoslovakia initially raised the question of the role of writers in the social change process within Eastern Europe. Conversations with Dr. Thomas Napierkowski of the University of Colorado,Colorado Springs, were helpful in establishing the criteria for ) the selection of other representative writers. Dr. Napierkowski's interest in this research reflects a desire to see the knowledge base of Eastern European history and literature broaden at the American university level. One important consideration for the other selected writers was availability of resources. Another consideration was the level of importance of the writer within his/her country. The two countries of focus, Poland and Czechoslovakia, were selected because of the international attention which was focused on their social 7


change movements. Regarding the selection of the Eastern European countries of focus, consideration of available resources was also a deciding factor. In addition to Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia, czeslaw Milosz of Poland, and Tadeusz Konwicki of Poland were selected. Although Milosz has lived .outside of Poland since 1951, he continues to be an important Polish writer (Echikson, 1990; Karpinski, 1987; Napierkowski, personal communication, April 16, 1991). Konwicki is considered to be one of the most writers continuing to work within Poland (Echikson, 1990; Napierkowski, personal communication April 16, 1991). Research Question The purpose of this research is to examine whether Eastern European authors, as exemplified by Czeslaw Milosz, Tadeusz Konwicki and Vaclav Havel, contributed to the communication of social change as described in communication based social change literature. In order to investigate the impact of the writer and the written word on the.communication of social change in Eastern Europe during 1989, it will be necessary to establish an overview of the progression of the events which resulted in significant social change. To appreciate the magnitude of change within Eastern Europe, 8


specifically Poland and Czechoslovakia and the role of the writer and literature in the communication of social change, additional questions must be posed. 1. What is unique about the historical perspective of Eastern Europe, specifically Poland and Czechoslovakia? 2. Considering both historical and contemporary focus, what is the role of the writer within Poland and czechoslovakia? 3. What specific communication theory can be used to ground the discussion of the writer as an agent of communicated social change? Essential biographical information on the designated writers will precede the analysis of the writer's role in Eastern Europe. The review of the writer's role will include: 1. A historical perspective of the importance of language and the written word in Eastern European countries. 2. An understanding of the position of the writer within the totalitarian hierarchy. 3. An examination of how the writer functions as an agitator in the communication of the social change process_ as defined by Bowers and Ochs in The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control (1971). The 1989 Revolution in Eastern Europe was a victory of culture over power (Echikson, 1990, p. 120). Bronislaw Gemerek, a Polish historian and leading Solidarity activist, summarized the intellectual's involvement. An intellectual must be engaged, 9


because we are fighting for the very right to think" (Echikson, 1990, p. 120). The Process of Communication and Social Change The centrality of communication theory is represented in the discussion of the writer's role in the communication of social change in Poland and Czechoslovakia. "Communication is intertwined with all of human life. Any study of human activity must touch on communication processes in one form or another" (Littlejohn, 1983, p. 2). Examining the research question of the role of specific Eastern European writers in the social change process involves the identification of specific communication processes and their theoretical relationship to social change. "Communication is one of our most pervasive, important, and complex clusters of behaviors" (Littlejohn, 1983, p. 3). Littlejohn (1983) reinforces the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation as essential for a useful understanding of communication. In Perspectives on Human Communication, B.J. Wahlstrom (1992) focuses on five characteristics of communication. Communication is first identified as a process which exists in time and is subject to change. To study communication components, an observer must be 10


sensitive to many things occurring at the same time as well as over a period of time. Communication is identified as a process rather than a product. The most basic of the communication paradigms which relates both to written as well as spoken communication is the linear model of sender message receiver. The process component of communication in the study of writers as agents in the communication of social change in Eastern Europe is substantiated in the historical perspective of the importance of literature in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Communication is symbolic. The symbolic focus centers on the nature of the message rather than the "how" of the communication process. Wahlstrom emphasizes that if one only examines the process, the important issue of the exchange of meaning is lost. The linguistic symbols of communication are important in both oral and written forms of communication. The importance of the selected writings of each writer, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel, reinforce the symbolic nature of communication. Communication is contextual. Shared language and shared vision are identified by Wahlstrom as important components of the contextual concept. Being in a specific context puts limits on communication. This concept is important in the examination of the role of 11


literature and social change in Poland and Czechoslovakia. For example, Milosz explores in his writings the importance of the geographical and historical contextual issues in the literature of Eastern European countries. The need for there to be a context in which communication occurs both limits communication and makes it possible (Wahlstrom, 1992). For this reason, it is imperative to develop a sense of history of the countries of focus and a sense of personal identity of the selected writers. Communication is purposive. There is generally a purpose for any given communication act (Wahlstrom, 1992). In order to appreciate and understand the purpose behind the writing of Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel, one must have an understanding of the unique position of each writer within his country and an overall understanding of the importance of. literature in the Eastern European countries of Poland and Czechoslovakia. 11Understanding that communication is purposive and motivated helps to explain some of the behavior of both sender and receiver11 (Wahlstrom, 1992, p. 14). This is the basic issue when examining the literature of Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel as agents in the communication of social change. Communication is transactional. The impact of the first message shapes or influences the nature of the 12


return message. This concept is at the heart of the examination of writers as agents of social change. What specific contextual messages were sent by the literature of Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel which encouraged the citizens of Poland and czechoslovakia to engage in significant social change? To understand how the messages of the writers reach the people in Poland and Czechoslovakia, the SMCR communication model of Shannon and Weaver (1948), and Berlo (1960) are helpful. The source (writer) sends the message (individual responsibility, living in the truth, importance of heritage) through the channel (essays, poems, novels, etc.) to the receiver (citizens). Lasswell (1948) builds upon the basic linear concept of the SMCR model to introduce the concept of effect. According to Lasswell messages are not just decoded by receivers, but they also have an effect on them. This effect upon the receiver is at the very heart of this study. Building on Wahlstrom's (1992) contextual concept and Lasswell's (1948) concept of effect, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel, express their perceptions of the reality of life in their respective countries. Milosz appeals to the sense of the "historical-self." Konwicki reveals the frustration of the attempted reconciliation 13


of man and a totalitarian system. Havel challenges individuals to accept responsibility and move beyond the alienation imposed by the Communist society. Gerbner (1956) addresses the role of perception in the communication process. Gerbner's model presupposes that after perceiving an event a person will communicate his/her perceptions to another for some reason. The Gerbner model distinguishes between the actual event, the way the event is perceived by the sender, how the perception is made into a message, and the way the message is perceived by the receiver. Persuasion is directly linked to soci(ll change. Brembeck and Howell in Persuasion: A Means of Social Control (1952) define persuasion as "the conscious attempt to modify thought and action by manipulating the motives of men toward predetermined ends" (p. 24). The writers in Eastern Europe enjoy unusual influence; they employ historically based emotional appeals; they develop logical arguments for change based on history and necessity (Ash, 1989; Echikson, 1990; Havel, 1990b). According to Aristotle, persuasion is most effective when it is based on the common ground between the persuader and the persuadee. The historical perspective and the uniqueness of the Eastern European experience supports the concept of "common ground." The discussion of the 14


historical perspective of Eastern Europe will reveal that much of the information processing of the people in these countries is done at the central level, as defined by Petty and Cacioppo (1986). The Consistency theories (Osgood & Tannenbaum, 1955; Heider, 1958; Festinger, 1957) provide a basis for understanding the effectiveness of the writers calls for individual responsibility and living in the truth. Littlejohn (1983) identifies Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance Theory as the most significant and influential of the Consistency theories. Festinger defines dissonance as a feeling resulting from the existence of two non-fitting pieces of knowledge about the world. Festinger suggests that we will change in order to establish consonance to relieve the psychological tension which dissonance creates. The dissonance which was felt in Poland and Czechoslovakia between the cultural heritage of the countries and the political reality is one of the messages which the writers send the people. Using messages based on cultural heritage and unique historical perspectives, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel appeal to the very core attitudes, beliefs, and values of their countrymen. The effectiveness of this appeal is better understood when viewed in terms of Rokeach's (1973) belief hierarchy. 15


Rokeach's work reinforces the psychological focus of Festinger (1957). Sherif's (1965) Social Judgement Theorycan be applied for a more complete understanding of the latitudes of acceptance and rejection within the people of Eastern Europe. An appreciation for Sherif's (1965) model may explain in part why this region was vulnerable to communism following World War II. In Persuasion: Reception and Responsibility, Larson (1992) examines ideological campaigns. Ideological and social change movements are usually involved in "selling" political, social, or economic dogma. The ultimate aim is change in the system. "Ideological campaigns usually urge the audience to convert to a new belief system and to join and to become active in the cause promoting the belief system" (Larson, 1992, p. 269). The swelling number of people in the streets of Warsaw and Prague, during the closing days.of 1989, would suggest successful ideological campaigns. The important difference in the ideological campaign is that the "convert" goes beyond just acceptance of the message but becomes an advocate for the new system. Ideological campaigns go through several clearly identifiablestages; one stage leads to another. Eric Hoffer (1966) in The True Believers suggests that the followers for idea campaigns come from the groups of the disaffected people. Hoffer identifies 16


the motives for joining idea campaigns: the movement is a way to lift themselves; they have nothing to lose; they are bored with the status quo; they are reversing a social "sin." The conversion of the true believers in Poland and Czechoslovakia could have been a combination of all three rationales. In The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control, Bowers and Ochs (1971) describe several stages or strategies which most ideological movements include. The stages are: petition --agitators petition sources of power; promulgation --the marketing of the leaders to gain recruits; solidification --the recruits are educated and "hyped up" --polarization --attention is focused on flag and flag person; non-violent resistance -strategies include strikes, etc.; escalation--increase of tension; revolution. All of the previously mentioned communication theories could individually be applied to the research problem. However, because of the magnitude of the social change which was experienced in Poland and Czechoslovakia in 1989, the Bowers and Ochs Model will be used as the guiding paradigm. Included within the Bowers and Ochs model are elements of the other communication based theories. The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control (1971) reinforces Littlejohn's (1983) basic premise that 17


communication is intertwined with all of human life. The Bowers and Ochs model illustrates the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation for the understanding of communication processes. Inherent in the Bowers and Ochs (1971) model are the five stages of communication as presented by Wahlstrom (1992). The communication process, sender message receiver, as defined by Shannon and Weaver (1948) and Berlo (1960) is incorporated in the strategies of agitation and control. The symbolic concept is reinforced in the use of linguistic and non-verbal symbols. The contextual aspect of the messages are an important consideration in the discussion and application'' of the model. The idea of purposive communication is absolutely central to the discussion of a model for social change. Wahlstrom's transactional concept and Lasswell's (1948) concept of effect are both important to the communication of social change. Gerbner's (1956) explanation of the importance of the sender's perception of a situation is critical to the development of communication focused on social change. By its very definition, Bowers and Ochs consider the rhetoric of agitation and control "a theory or rationale .. that has to do with persuasion" (p.1). The specific desire for social change inherent in the Bowers 18


and Ochs model supports the social action basis of persuasion presented by Brembeck and Howell (1952). Also important to the understanding of the agitation strategies is an appreciation for the three ways humans react to messages: cognitively know and understand the message, affectively or emotionally feel the message, and exhibit behavior toward the message (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) The consistency theories (Osgood & Tannenbaum, 1955; Festinger, 1957; Heider, 1958) assume humans do no like inconsistency. The Bowers and Ochs (1971) model builds on the inconsistencies within a system to promote social change. The model also incorporates the importance of Rokeach's (1973) attitudes, beliefs, and values in setting the stage for the implementation of the agitation strategies. Included in this perspective would also be Sherif's (1965) concept of anchor points used to make judgements. The Bowers and Ochs (1971) model can be identified as an ideological campaign as defined by Larson (1992). The ultimate goal of the rhetoric of agitation and control is system change. The Bowers and Ochs model appeals to the disaffected people as described by Eric Hoffer (1966). 19


Bowers and Ochs Model of Social Change According to Bowers and Ochs, (1971} The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control is "concerned with analyzing the process of social change" (p. 1). The BowersjOchs model investigates the possibilities of social change from a multi-disciplined perspective. In order to clearly understand the relationship of the selected literature of the identified three writers to the social change paradigm outlined by Bowers and Ochs, it is necessary to operationally define essential terms. First, the elements of rhetoric must be defined. Traditionally, rhetoric is defined as a theory or rationale that has to do with persuasion and is limited to verbal phenomena. The BowersjOchs definition of rhetoric extends the scope of the traditional definition. As defined by BowersjOchs, rhetoric is the rationale of instrumental, symbolic behavior. "Instrumental behavior" is defined as "contributing to another message or act." "Symbolic behavior" is understood to perform a referential function -"standing for something else." "Verbal behavior, whether descriptive or persuasive, is almost completely symbolic Words used instrumentally, therefore, are in rhetoric" (Bowers & Ochs, 1971, p. 2). the purview of The purpose of this study is to examine selected literature of Milosz, 20


Konwicki, and Havel and determine if, indeed, it was "instrumental" in communicating social change in Poland and Czechoslovakia. What specific "symbolic behavior" can be identified in the selected literature of the three writers of focus which contributed to the communication of social change? As defined by Bowers and Ochs, social change "is any change, written or unwritten, in the way society regulates itself." Social change can be substantive (e.g., higher wages) or procedural (e.g., collective bargaining system). According to the Bowers/Ochs Model, social change may affect one group, or more groups. Social change may be political, religious, economic, or all three. Bowers and Ochs go beyond traditional definitions of agitation and develop their own definition which clearly delineates a certain rhetorical situation as agitational. The expanded definition defines agitation in a way that requires interaction between two social groups rather than simply as a characteristic of a certain persuasive attempt or a certain kind of persuader. Agitation exists when 1) people outside the normal decision making establishment 2) advocate significant social change and 3) encounter a degree of resistance within the establishment such as to require more than the normal discursive means of persuasion. (Bowers & Ochs, 1971, p. 4) 21


Bowers and Ochs suggest that "the social antecedents of agitation are relevant" (p. 6). They refer to Kenneth E. Boulding: Protest (for which we would read "agitation") arises when there is strongly felt dissatisfaction with existing programs and policies of government or other organizations (for which we would read "establishment"), on the part of those who feel themselves affected by these policies but who are unable to express their discontent through regular and legitimate channels, and who feel to exercise the weight to which they think they are entitled in the decision-making process. When nobody is listening to us and we feel we have something to say, then comes the urge to shout. (Bowers & Ochs, 1971, p. 6) Using the Bowers/Ochs paradigm, agitation is based either on vertical or lateral deviance. Vertical deviance occurs when the agitators subscribe to the value system of the establishment, but dispute the distribution of benefits or power within the system. Agitation based on lateral deviance occurs when the agitators dispute the value system itself. Bowers and Ochs use Marshall McLuhan's (1964) terms "hot" and "cold" to describe the strategies used in vertical and lateral deviance. "Hot" messages refer to messages which are easily perceived and direct. McLuhan refers to the high-fidelity form of the "hot" messages which require little effort on the part of the receiver in assembling the signals into complete messages. An example of a "hot" message would be "over 22


throw the existing government." On the other hand, "cool" messages are referred to as low-fidelity forms which require the receiver to use his/her senses to convert incomplete signals into complete messages (McLuhan, 1964). "Hot" strategies are used in vertical deviance while "cool" strategies are used in lateral deviance. "Cool" strategies include: display of symbols, engineered events, a:t:ld ambiguous behavior. This study will examine the use of McLuhan's terms of "hot" and "cool" strategies as applied to the involvement of the selected writers in the communication of social change in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Bowers and Ochs identify three integral components of every social system: structure, goal orientation, and power. According to Bowers and Ochs (1971), it is essential to have a clear understanding of these three social system components in order to appreciate.the function of agitation upon the system. Structure is operationally defined as "having a set of procedures by which decisions are made and a set of positions in which decision-making rests" (p. 9). Goal orientation, the second component of a social system, is operationally defined as "a coherent set of fact and value statements" (p. 9). Bowers and Ochs are quick to point out that a group's adherence to its ideology, those statements which 23


define the unique characteristics of the group and its unique set of beliefs, may be in theory only. That is, often individuals belong to groups, even political systems, in name only. critical to the understanding of the rhetoric of agitation is the concept of social power. According to -Bowers and Ochs, 11changes in the distribution of this power are the main goals of most agitating groups11 (p. 10). Research supports the following generalizations regarding power. 1.) The need for some form of social power is nearly 'a universal attribute of people in Western culture. 2.) Seldom does an individual or a group give up power voluntarily to another group. 3.) The exercise of social power is in itself satisfying to most individuals in Western culture. Bowers and Ochs refer to the concepts of power developed by French and Raven. John R.P. French, Jr., and Betram Raven describe five types of social power: reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, referent power, and expert power. Reward power is defined as the ability on the part of one group to give rewards to another group. Bowers and Ochs also define reward power as the ability to 11withdraw negatively perceived things and events11 (p. 10). Coercive power is defined as being able to influence another's behavior by threat of 24


punishment. Legitimate power exists when one individual or group is perceived by others as having "a social contract" for that power. "Sustained agitation almost always has as its principal demand the redistribution of legitimate power" (Bowers & Ochs, 1971, p. 13). Using French and Raven's definition of referent power, it applies to agitator individuals and groups. One group is defined as having referent power when the influence is attracted to and identified with that group. Expert power is defined as the power which exists when one individual or group thinks that another has superior knowledge or skill in a particular area in which influence is to be exerted. Bowers and Ochs emphasize the importance of having a framework within which to consider the strategies of agitators. Essential to the understanding of this framework is the appreciation of the components of a social system, structure, goal orientation, and power. Especially critical is an understanding of the different kinds of power: reward, coercive, legitimate, referent, and expert. According to Bowers and Ochs, it is also important to acknowledge which elements of power are possessed by the establishment and which elements of power are possessed by the agitators. For the purpose of this study, the framework for analysis will consist of a 25


focus on the two Eastern European countries of Poland and Czechoslovakia and the position of the writer within those countries. The establishment will be defined as existing socialist political systems within Poland and Czechoslovakia. The agitators will be defined as the selected writers, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel. Bowers and Ochs identify seven specific AGITATOR STRATEGIES: petition, promulgation, solidification, polarization, non-violent resistance, escalation, and revolution. It is important to note that according to Bowers and Ochs these strategies are "more or less cumulative and progressive" (p. 17). The examination of whether Eastern-European writers, as exemplified by Czeslaw Milosz, Tadeusz Konwicki, and Vaclav Havel, contributed to the communication of social change as described in communication based social change literature will be based on the Bowers and Ochs model. Methodology The historical-critical (H-C) methodology was used for the examination of the research question focusing on whether Eastern European writers, as exemplified by Czeslaw Milosz, Tadeusz Konwicki, and Vaclav Havel, contributed to the communication of social change as described. in communication based social change 26


literature. For this study the requirements of the H-C method were on Babbie (1989), Neuman (1991), Stacks and Hocking (1992), and Tucker, Weaver, and Berryman-Fink (1981). The major classical social thinkers of the 19th century Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber. used the H-C method (Neuman, 1991). The early H-C works were a blend of sociology, history, political science, and economics. This global perspective makes it suitable for a multi-dimensional study such as the investigation of the link between the literature of the selected Eastern European writers and communication of social change within their countries. The H-C method is a powerful tool for addressing big questions (Neuman, 1991). According to Neuman, the H-C approach allows the researcher to see reality simultaneously as something created and changed by people. Since the object of the H-C methodology is not to test a hypothesis, replication is unrealistic. Instead, H-C researchers offer plausible accounts and limited generalizations. Neuman (1991) identified six unique features of the H-C method. 1. H-C researchers use unique evidence to reconstruct the past in limited and indirect ways. 2. H-C method provides a broader perspective which 27


enhances the historical component. 3. H-C method recognizes the capacity of people to learn. 4. H-C employs a multi-dimensional casual explanation rather than a linear explanation. 5. H-C method approaches the whole, not a component of the whole, as if it has multilayers. 6. H-C method has the ability to shift from specific context to general comparisons. The issue of "equivalence" is important in the development of the H-C method, according to Neuman. Equivalence is a critical issue in all research. It is the issue of making comparisons across divergent contexts, or whether a researcher, living in a specific time period and culture, correctly read, understands or conceptualizes data about people from a different historical era or culture. (Neuman, 1991, p. 404) Babbie (1989) examined this same concept of equivalence and determined that the researcher must be able to take on mentally the circumstances, views, and feelings of those being studied. Social scientists have adopted the term "hermeneutics," the art and science of interpretation, for this aspect of H-C research. Using the definition of the H-C method provided by Tucker, Weaver, and Berryman-Fink (1981), this method provides a perspective for the interpretation of the present, understanding present facts, customs, trends, and movements. The H-C method is a way of thinking which 28


allows for the inclusion of many different components in an attempt to synthesize a topic into one with a well founded global perspective. The examination of the research problem in the present study included a synthesis of the following: 1. A presentation of the research problem including a sense of limited scope, and the importance of the research question. 2. An overview of the communication correlates. 3. A sense of the historical past of Poland and Czechoslovakia and link it to the social change of 1989. 4. An understanding of the literary traditions of the two countries. 5. A knowledge of the representative writers and examples of their writing. The H-C method requires that the researcher make reasonable connections linking the various individual components into a unified global perspective. Babbie (1989) saw the task of the H-C researcher as one of finding patterns. The researcher develops conceptual models composed of the essential characteristics of the social phenomena. Babbie explained that often H-C research is informed by a particular theoretical paradigm. The BowersfOchs (1971) model found in The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control provided the focus for the examination of the writers' works and their role in the social change processes 29


within their perspective countries. According to Tucker, Weaver, and Berryman Fink (1981), the H-C approach enlarges one's world experience. This requirement of the H-C methodology is met with the given research topic. One must have an initial curiosity regarding the phenomena of social change. A period of significant social change, particularly political and economic change continues in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. To gain initial appreciation of the change process, one can look closely at the events of 1989 in Eastern Europe. The swearing in of Vaclav Havel as President of Czechoslovakia initiated the question of the role of literature and literary persons in the change process in the Eastern European countries. With a more complete understanding of the events of 1989, the researcher's world experience would be enlarged. In addition to the increased awareness of historical, political, and literary perspectives, this study broadened the researcher's perspective of communication issues. Being able to expand communication theory applications enhanced the scholarly and professional base of the researcher. As a result of the careful execution of the H-e method, a level of awareness and appreciation was developed by the researcher for significant Eastern European writers, i.e., Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel, who 30


were little known to the researcher before the investigation. Tucker, Weaver, and Berryman-Fink also focused on the fact that the H-C method provides a deeper appreciation and an opportunity for a more thorough investigation into the essential nature and uniqueness of life. Tucker et al., identified five areas of development for the H-C methodology: 1. Reconstruct the past in a systematic and objective development. 2. Collection of evidence. 3. Verification of evidence. 4. Synthesis of information. 5. Conclusion. According to Tucker et al. (1981) in Research in Speech Communication, there are three appropriate focuses for H-C research. They are: biographical studies, movements or ideas studies, or rhetorical criticism. The research topic could have been developed by any of the three focuses. However, the chosen focus was the examination of movements and idea studies. The movements needed to be considered would be the historical perspective of why Poland and Czechoslovakia were vulnerable to communism following World War II, and why in 1989 these countries changed from a central communist 31


system to a locally determined government. The investigation into the what/why of the changes drove the movement study. The study of ideas became complicated. In order to develop a final synthesis of ideas, several areas were examined. First, the communication correlates were established. Given the context, the question of the importance of writers in Poland and Czechoslovakia was explored. Included were: an understanding of the historical development of literature in these two countries; an understanding of how literature and cultural identity are linked; an understanding of the importance of the concepts of language, nationalism, and communism. Since the change movement in these countries involved the change into and then out of a totalitarian state, the position of writers and their literature in the totalitarian state was addressed. There are five specific research steps which must be accomplished in the H-C approach. 1. Establish and define the problem and develop a problem statement/question from which the research will be guided. 2. Choose the appropriate H-C focus. 3. Collect data. Verify evidence. 4. Interpretation/synthesis of data. 5. The conclusion. 32


The most demanding step in the H-C method is data collection. According to stacks and Hocking (1992), evidence must include primary evidence, from the source itself, and secondary evidence, information from the time period from individuals who may have observed but did not engage in the activities. Stacks and Hocking also include tertiary evidence, based on the accounts of the accounts of the primary source. Data collection can be divided into external evidence and internal evidence (Stacks & Hocking, 1992). There are several questions which should be considered when considering evidence. Was the person in a position to perceive the event clearly, with little distraction? Was the source physically able to observe the event? Was the source intellectually able to perceive the event and relate it in clear, concise, intelligent fashion? was the source morally able to report what occurred? Were there pressures on the witness? was the source aware of the significance of the writing? Did the source have a sense of writing for posterity? Did the source demonstrate a personal interest in what was being observed? Did the source seem reluctant to report? Was the information supported by other sources? Stacks and Hocking referred to the internal evidence as a focus on the meaning of the words or symbols used in 33


the communication. The internal focus for this study related to the words used by the representative writers in their selected writings. However, the attention to internal focus was not as specific as if this had been a rhetorical study. For the stated research problem, both primary and secondary sources were used. The primary sources included selected original works from all three identified writers, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel. The significant secondary sources included Timothy Garton Ash and William Echikson. For the last decade, Ash has been an observer of events in Eastern Europe. He is fluent in the languages of the region and was trained at Oxford as a historian. Timothy Garton Ash is a fellow at st. Anthony's College, Oxford-University, England. He is the author of The Uses of Adversity, which won the European Essay Prize in 1989, and The Polish Revolution: Solidarity. He is a contributor to The New York Review of Books, and other publications. Echikson has reported on the Eastern European affairs since 1982 for the Christian Science Monitor and now is a staff correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. Like Ash, Echikson knew personally many of the persons involved in the dramatic changes of 1989. Lighting the Night is Echikson's personal account of the events of 34


1989 mixed with historical and sociological insights into Eastern Europe. Tertiary evidence was provided by Dr. Thomas Napierkowski whose professional and family links remain secure to Poland. Dr. Napierkowski is a member of the English Department of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. In addition to Dr. Napierkowski, Dr. David Frick of the Slavic studies Department of the University of California, Berkeley, also provided additional tertiary support. The communication researcher was reminded by Stacks and Hocking that in conducting a critical study, at least four aspects of communication should be studied: 1. The results of communication. 2. The artistic standard. 3. The basis of ideas. 4. The motives and ethics behind the communication. An examination of the results of the communication should reveal: 1. The purpose of the communication. 2. The true purpose of the communication. 3. The connection found between the communication and the results. The third step, data collection and verification of evidence, for the given research topic has identified 35


limitations: inability of the researcher to go to the source, the language barrier, and the fact that the area of Slavic literature is highly specialized. Availability of sources was limited. During the data collection stage, it was essential to maintain an attitude of critical inquiry. Because of the nature of the problem, research was library centered. To add to the knowledge base, experts in the area of Slavic Studies were identified. The verification of evidence also posed potential problems. Without knowledge of Eastern European languages and the opportunity to compare texts, determining the completeness of translations was a limitation of this study. The interpretation/synthesis of data in such a study as this provides creative opportunities. Tucker et al., emphasized that."facts don't speak for themselves." The interpretation tactics include: attributing motive, deducing characteristics, and deriving causes. This step is much like putting the puzzle pieces together. The conclusion is an important part of the H-C approach. It is important to end with a brief, clear statement of essential facts or points. Following the summary, as in other methodologies, the researcher must indicate areas for further research. This too can become 36


a launch pad for new insights and professional contribution. In summary, the overall considerations for the H-C study includes: reliability of sources, attention to clarity andaccuracy of written presentation style, authenticity of sources, originality in approach, importance of the application --does it pass the "who cares" test, and consideration of educational potential. Does the study go beyond just the substance of ideas to examine and reveal the dynamics of the ideas? The strengths of the H-C method include its ability to take a multi-disciplined approach to a question for a more complete understanding of the interrelationship of forces, i.e., social, political, literary, and cultural (Neuman, 1991). The H-C approach allows a greater perspective into the broader interactions of historical phenomena. It allows one to appreciate more fully a global perspective. The H-e method enlarges the world by providing deeper appreciation and insight into the nature and uniqueness of events and people; it allows the past to be reconstructed in a systematic manner to add to the meaning of the present (Tucker et al., 1981). The weaknesses of the H-C method include a tendency to perpetuate selective perception and not discover all potential impacters of a topic. A H-C researcher must be 37


sensitive to the concept of proportion. The tendency to become overwhelmed with information exists. The researcher must maintain a constant critical focus. The tendency to evaluate the past in of the present is a constant danger. causal relationships must be carefully established. The H-C researcher must be widely read, maintain a questioning attitude, and beware of potential language distortions. H-C research leaves the researcher with the feeling that there could have been more done! H-C research does not lend itself to neat, tidy packaging and a secure feeling of completion (Tucker et al., 1981). 38


CHAPTER 2 INTRODUCTION TO EASTERN EUROPE Overview of the 1989 Revolution in Eastern Europe .1989 was the year of revolution in Eastern Europe! A revolution unlike any that had preceded it (Bowers, 1991) This revolution occurred without invasions, without armies, but it was a revolution that would dramatically change the face of Eastern Europe, and impact the world (Ash, 1990; Echikson, 1990). The immense impact of the events of 1989 are succinctly summarized in the words of a Czechoslovakian translator. "I have never needed to translate these words: Democracy Down with Communism" (Meyer, 1989a). The momentum of irreversible change initiated by the people of Eastern Europe began to shake the world in August 1989. The magnitude of these events is best appreciated when examined as a timetable of revolution. Poland was the first country to experience the momentum of rapid change. In February 1989, Lech Walesa and other leaders of the outlawed Solidarity met with government officials in order to reestablish the legitimacy of the activist trade union which had been outlawed since the imposition of martial law in 1981 (Echikson, 1990).


April 1989, Solidarity was again recognized as a legitimate union. At that time Lech Walesa and other leaders negotiated a social contract which resulted in substantial gains for Solidarity and its followers. These landmark governmental concessions included: the restoration of private schools; Solidarity's independent newspaper; a fully restored union for both farmers and tradesmen; and most importantly, free elections for the upper house of Parliament, the Senate, and 35% of the seats in the lower house, the Sejm (Echikson, 1990). Following the recognition of Solidarity's viability as a political party, thousands of young volunteers flooded the streets to obtain the required three thousand signatures needed to register Solidarity's candidates on the ballot. The previously apathetic streets of Poland were now filled with rallies, music, posters, and political buttons (Echikson, 1990). June 5, 1989, the formerly outlawed trade union, Solidarity, had almost overnight become a formidable political machine. The union had between 70% and 80% of the vote 1990). August 1989, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a recognized intellectual and early Solidarity advisor, became Prime Minister of Poland (Ash, 1990; Echikson, 1990). Only months before, Mazowiecki had declared that at this point in time there was no hope of successfully 40


putting a Christian on the Polish ballot (Doyle, 1989; Echikson, 1990). Solidarity's success made it much more tempting for everyone in Eastern Europe to demand more. It was becoming evident that a new world was about to be born ("After the party," 1989). Poland now led by noncommunists became a potent symbol suggesting that an end of an era was indeed at hand ("Freedom's turn," 1989). Poland was not the only Eastern European country experiencing winds of change. Discontent was already being felt in Hungary even before the unexpected turn of events in Poland. The memory of Budapest 1956, when a counter-revolution was violently crushed by Soviet troops, had never vanished from the Hungarian psyche. On June 15, 1989, Imre Mecs, a coordinator of student unrest in 1956, stood before 200,000 people in Budapest's Heroes Square and declared, "We will never forget. We will have a democracy like we dreamed of in 1956" (Echikson, 1990, p. 22). Mecs's cry for democracy combined with the recognition of past martyrs began the domino effect in Hungary. Barbed-wire fences and watch towers on the Austrian border were torn down. The barriers to the West were quickly being destroyed (Ash, 1990; Echikson, 1990). East Germany was next. September 13, 1989, Hungary suspended a bilateral consular agreement with East Germany and officially opened its western borders. This 41


provided the route for the Great Escape. Following the Czechoslovakian government's decision to open the country's borders, 15,000 East German freedom seekers passed through Prague and over the Hungarian border into Austria within three days (Ash, 1990; Echikson, 1990). A total of 50,000 East Germans left their home for. the West by the end of October (Ash, 1990; Echikson, 1990). As the number of emigres continued to increase, support for change was growing in the streets of East Germany. November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down! The entire world joined in the rejoicing of this event (Ash, 1990; Echikson, 1990). Czechoslovakia was a relative latecomer to the change mania which had begun sweeping Eastern Europe since August. As late as October 28, 1989, Gzechoslovakian Independence Day, dissidents could only bring 10,000 supporters into the streets. On November 17,1989, hundreds of students from Charles University and other Prague colleges took to the streets calling for the release of political prisoners and for the right to free speech while honoring the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Nazi Murders, a commemoration of the murders of eight young Czech student demonstrators in 1939. At least 100 students were injured as police violently clubbed the protesters. Communist Party leader Milos Jakes had hoped 42


that this police intervention would knock the young demonstrators into apathy (Omestad, 1989). Jakes could not have been more wrong. The dramatic liberalization in Poland, Hungary, and East Germany had primed the Czech people for a change. The violent clubbings by the police erased any question as to when the change would come to czechoslovakia. The brutal police attack was reminiscent of the Soviet intervention which crushed the Prague Spring in 1968. The people were determined that the same fate for emerging democratic demands would not occur in 1989 as had occurred in 1968. The twenty-one year passivity of the Czech people was about to come to an end. One news report captured the spirit of that 1989 November night. "This is the start of the finish of this government" (Chesnoff, 1989b). November 19, 1989, marked the founding of the Civic Forum, a new umbrella opposition group headed by playwright, Vaclav Havel. Between November 19 and November 24, the crowds of protest continued to grow in Wenceslas Square in Prague. Events quickly followed. November 24, 1989, Milos Jakes and the Politburo resigned. November 27, 1989, President Gustav Husak resigned. Like Walesa and leading intellectuals in Poland, Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright, was reluctantly jetted into the political limelight (Doerner, 1989; Meyer, 1989b; "Prague sprung," 43


1989) Events in Bulgaria and Romania continued the momentum of change. The months of unbelievable events in Eastern Europe culminated with the execution of the Romanian communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, on Christmas Day 1989. "The bloody revolt in Romania marked the final chapter in the most politically earthshaking period in post war East European history" (Bowers, 1991). The Unique Historical Perspective of Eastern Europe In order to understand the magnitude of the events of 1989 in Eastern Europe, it is essential to examine the uniqueness of this part of the world. Eastern Europe is a misnomer. It never was a monolithic bloc. It is a region full of deep differences --different nationalities, different traditions, different histories. The imposition of Soviet-style communism not only failed to wipe out these differences: one of the exhilarating and dangerous aspects of the present revolution is the rediscovery of unique national identities. (Echikson, 1990, p. 4) The 1989 news descriptions of Prague streets filled with proud Czechoslovakians following Husak's resignation support the fervor with which national spirits were awakened. It is reported that Prague nearly exploded with cheering crowds, nearing one-half million, in Wenceslas Square. Church bells rang. Horns honked. 44


Brass bands played on street corners. The red, white, and blue Czechoslovakian national flag became the victorious banner of resistance. It flew from building tops; it decorated everything from lapels to baby carriages. Youths could be seen in T-shirts declaring: "I Am czech and Proud of It" (Meyer, 1989a; Doerner, 1989; Chesnoff, 1989a). Similar nationalistic scenes were being reenacted throughout other Eastern European cities. The reemergence of the national-self of these Eastern European countries must be viewed within the context of the historical identity of the Eastern European peoples. In an attempt to provide insight into the historical-self of Eastern Europe, Czeslaw Milosz, Polish poet and author, discussed the historical uniqueness of this region at the Wheatland Conference on Literature in Budapest in June, 1989 .. On the banks of the Danube, it is quite natural to ask whether the idea of Central Europe has been just a whim of a few intellectuals, or acquires now a significance thanks to the aspirations for democracy that have been awakened in many countries. The simple fact is that our perspective is different from the perspective of Western Europeans, Russians, or Americans. (Milosz, 1989, p. 28) It is Milosz's contention that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 23, 1939, was the significant act which made Central (Eastern) Europe different. It was this pact which divided the land and people of Central Europe 45


between the Soviet Union and Germany. This pact ultimately imprinted upon these brokered countries a historical memory of "millions of deaths, mass deportations, planned exterminations of civilians, concentration camps and slave labor camps" (Milosz, 1989, p. 28). Milosz defines Central Europe as all the countries that in August 1939 were a real or a hypothetical object of a trade between the Soviet Union and Germany. The reduction to the role of an object of history creates deep traumas. It leaves Decades of pain and humiliation: that is what distinguishes Central European countries from their Western counterparts. (Milosz, 1989, p. 28) Milosz, the poet, reflects upon the importance of this historical link and the development of literature in these Eastern European countries. Literature of this unique region cannot avoid being marked by the "historical imagination" of the past. imagination is probably trained by the memory of a collective.suffering. If this is true, writers of Central Europe are called to make use of it in their work. Historical imagination reconstructs the past of human societies. It makes us aware of the extreme durability, the permanence of the past. Thus, in speaking of Central European cities, for example it is necessary to keep in mind that they bear traces of belonging in the nineteenth century to two different empires: the Czarist Empire in the north and the Hapsburg Empire in the south. Similarly, we may expect the totalitarian experience to leave a permanent 46


scar. (Milosz, 1989, p. 29) The Wheatland Conference on Literature in June 1989 became a forum to reinforce the importance of writers and their literature in Eastern European countries, especially when viewed with the knowledge of the momentous events which within months followed this conference. Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel were men deeply involved in the events of their time. An awareness of the communication concepts and theories embodied within the Bowers and Ochs model, suggests these writers are important messengers in the communication of social change within their countries. Biographical Sketches of Representative Writers The strength of the Eastern European literary tradition can be effectively examined by focusing on two important countries, Poland and czechoslovakia,. and three internationally recognized writers, Czeslaw Milosz and Tadeusz Konwicki from Poland and Vaclav Havel from czechoslovakia. Brief biographical sketches of each author reveal significantly influential writers of their time. Czeslaw Milosz was born in Lithuania in 1911. In his autobiography A Native Realm: A Search'for SelfDefinition (1968), Milosz recounts the importance of his 47


early childhood experiences and the impact they had on his later development, personally and artistically. The pristine images of the beautiful, safe countryside of his early childhood have stayed with him as a source of both comfort and sorrow throughout his entire life (Ash, 1989). Milosz retreats many times to the period of his early childhood, to the majesty and calm of the Lithuanian forest for a sense of solace. However, this same countryside evokes images filled with sorrow and despair when Milosz refers to the Soviet occupation of his birth Milosz's father was an engineer whose sense of adventure and daring was reflected in his trips to the Siberian wilderness. Milosz remembers vividly trips as a child through the barren frozen lands of Russia. However, these lands never held the same fascination for Milosz as they did for his father. For Milosz, as well as many other citizens of the occupied countries of Eastern Europe, Russia remained a cold, backward, primitive country. Domination by such an inferior country never made sense. These vivid childhood memories dramatically influenced Milosz's future writings and Milosz's sense of historical identity (Ash, 1989; Milosz, 1968). "The awareness of one's origins is like an anchor line plunged into the deep, keeping one within a certain range. Without it historical intuition is 48


virtually impossible" (Milosz, 1968, p. 20). After World War I, Milosz's family moved to the newly independent Poland, thus, Milosz's identity as a Polish writer. Milosz grew up in the town of Wilno as the child of an intellectual bourgeois family. Milosz is quick to point out that actual monetary assets or possessions were not the sole deciding factors for societal placement. The fact that he was "poor bourgeois" was to his advantage during the early days of the Soviet domination. Milosz's Catholic education also left an indelible imprint on his identity as a Pole and as a writer. Milosz could never escape the essence of placement in Eastern Europe and especially Poland. It continues to haunt his literary works (Ash, 1989; Milosz, 1968). In A Native Realm: A Search for Self-Definition, Milosz (1968) examines the influence of his early years upon him as an individual and as a writer. During his days at the university, Milosz joined the Intellectuals Club, a literary/political group influenced by Marxism. However, his dedication to Marxist philosophy was never fully matured. Milosz spent the years between 1934 and the beginning of the Second World War as a young poet experiencing the literary life of Paris. Once the Nazi troops occupied Poland, Milosz returned to his homeland 49


to become a writer and editor for underground Resistance publications. After the war, Milosz became a pawn for the Soviet system. His recognized stature as a literary spokesman enabled him to receive preferential treatment with such embassy assignments as Paris and Washington D.C. (Milosz, 1968). In 1951 Milosz had to reconcile for himself the "monster of historic necessity." It was at this time that he broke with the Polish Socialist government and left his native land. After spending ten years in Paris, Milosz emigrated to the United States and became professor of Slavic Languages at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to other significant international literary recognition, czeslaw Milosz received the Noble Prize for Literature in 1980 (Czarnecka & Fiut, 1987). Unlike Milosz, who had a secure international reputation before the Soviet occupation and whose reputation only continued to become more secure after his defection, Tadeusz Konwicki is not well known outside of his native Poland. The inability to access biographical information on Konwicki leaves much to be understood about this writer. However, he is a significant literary figure within his native land of Poland (Echikson, 1990; Frick, personal communication, April 21, 1992; 50


Napierkowski, personal communication, April 16, 1991). Like Milosz, Konwicki was born before the second World War and the Soviet occupation of Poland. He, too, through his literature depicts the unnaturalness of Poland's domination by a lesser country, the soviet Union. The ideas and emotions communicated in A Minor Apocalypse, a mixture of history, politics, anger, revenge, became significant for the "Flying University" system. This refers to an underground intellectual movement within Poland during the late 1970s and the early 1980s which kept alive the spirit of challenge to the existing political system (Konwicki, 1983). "The Flying Universities" would meet in the apartments of "radicals" in constant fear of being raided by the state police (Konwicki, 1983). The underground presses of samizdat literature, literature which did not receive governmental sanction, were also a part of this resistance network (Ash, 1989). This underground network of influence reflects the literary world of Tadeusz Konwicki (Echikson, 1990; Konwicki, 1983). Unlike Milosz and Konwicki, Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia was essentially raised under the Soviet socialist domination. Havel was born in 1936 into a privileged bourgeois family. As a.young student, Havel suffered the repercussions of his bourgeois birth. In 51


the early 1950s Havel was prevented from attending high school because of his privileged background. However, this did not deter him from his education. He received his high school diploma from night school while working during the day as a chemistry lab assistant. His literary activities were forced into the realm of extra-curricular endeavors (Havel, 1990a). In 1956, at the age of twenty, Havel initiated the first of his many challenges to the system. He challenged the Conference of Young Writers to recognize "real poets" and not those who merely subscribed to the rules of the system (Havel, 1988.). In 1965 Havel joined the Czech Writers' Union and the editorial board of Tvar, a small literary magazine founded by young non-communist writers. Tvar was under pressure to conform to the standards of the Party or shut down. Havel led a spirited campaign to save Tvar, but to no avail (Havel, 1988). The small magazine was ultimately compromised into extinction in order to pursue "more significant goals" according to the Writers' Union. With this Havel learned that little things do count. Havel discovered what he called a model of behavior; when arguing with a center of power, don't get sidetracked into vague ideological debates about who is right or wrong, fight for specific concrete things, and be prepared to stick to your guns. (Havel, 1990a, p. xii) 52


This specific determinism became a model of behavior to which Havel adamantly adhered from this time forth. Between 1963-1965 Havel wrote two plays, The Garden Party (1963) and The Memorandum (1965), which secured his international reputation as a leading writer of the Theater of the Absurd. In June 1967, Havel's public activity intensified at the IV Writers' Congress. Havel delivered a stinging attack on the lack of democracy and called for the establishment of the Circle of Independent Writers within the Union (Havel, 1988). At this same time, Havel also called for the establishment of a second Czech party based on the Czech democratic and humanitarian tradition (Havel, 1988). August 1968, also known as the Prague Spring, the soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia to crush this wave of democracy. By 1969 Vaclav Havel had been declared a subversive arid all of his writings were "removed from all school and public libraries, and his plays were banned from the stage" (Havel, 1988, p. 7). During the 1970s Havel focused his attention directly on problems of how the system impinges on people who are not dissidents --the ordinary people trapped in menial, degrading jobs and who indulge in mindless activity (Havel, 1988). In 1977 Havel became the founding spokesman for Charter 77 whose purpose was to 53


monitor the: cases of people who had been indicted or imprisoned for expressing their beliefs, or people who were victims of abuse from the police or the courts (Ash, 1989; Echikson, 1990; Havel, 1990a). In 1979 Havel was sentenced to prison. He was prematurely released in 1983 due to a severe illness and the intervention of others on his behalf (Havel, 1988). November 1989, Vaclav Havel became the spokesperson for the Civic Forum, a loose coalition of veteran dissidents, newborn social democrats, and reformist communists. Civic Forum led the people protest which ultimately led to the resignation of the Czechoslovakian communist party officials. VaclavHavel was sworn in as President of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1990 (Ash, 1990; Echikson, 1990; Havel, 1990a). 54


CHAPTER 3 THE UNIQUE ROLE OF THE WRITER IN EASTERN EUROPE In Eastern Europe the written word wields rare power. Intellectuals do not hide away in ivory towers. Repeating the words of Polish historian Bronislaw Gemerek, 11 We must be engaged, we are fighting for the very right to think" (Echikson, 1990, p. 3). Czechoslovakian playwright Vaclav Havel echoes the basic necessity for involvement. Havel insists on the basic and most demanding of freedoms -"to live in one's own country and to think as one likes" (Havel, 1990b, p. xiii). "Writers in Central and Eastern Europe are moral and political authorities .. (Ash, 1989, p. 18). "In the West no writer is regarded as a morai or spiritual leader as Havel in Czechoslovakia, or as Milosz in Poland" (Ash, 1989, p. 171). Every Polish schoolboy knows that the intelligentsia has had a mission to uphold the spirit and culture of the nation against the political powers that be" (Ash, 1989, p. 105). Vaclav Havel has a role of "moral and political authority for thousands of Czechs and Slovaks (and by no means only those actively engaged in opposition) that no writer in


the West enjoys .. (Ash, 1989, p. 168). Reading is a passion in Eastern Europe; it goes well beyond a mere pastime. Reading plays a vital role in the social life of all classes within society; it is not just reserved for the intellectuals (Ash, 1989; Echikson, 1990; Napierkowski, personal communication, April 16, 1991). The importance of reading is understood better when one realizes that much of what is expressed orally in Western countries, particularly the United states, is put on paper in Eastern Europe. Topics which Americans tend to televise, Eastern Europeans report and comment on in books and articles (Ash, 1989; Echikson, 1990; personal communication, April 16, 1991). This tendency is particularly true in the realm of politics. In Eastern Europe commentaries, debates on public issues, practical apd philosophical, are much more likely to appear in print than on the five o'clock news, as evidenced by many of Vaclav Havel's essays (Ash, 1989; Echikson, 1990; Kaplan, 1973). In keeping with the serious nature of much of Eastern European literature, it is not a surprise that the classics enjoy a continuing popularity in Eastern Europe. One excellent example is Adam Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz, a nineteenth century epic poem celebrating Poland's fight for independence during the Napoleonic 56


Wars. This poem was first published in 1834. In 1986, a century and a half later, another reprint was issued and more than one million copies were sold (Echikson, 1990; Napierkowski, personal communication, April 16, 1991). In Czechoslovakia the continued influence of Thomas Masaryk, the founder of the Czech Republic and its president from 1918 until 1935, is an example of the continuing influence of earlier historical periods and the classics. As an intellectual, Masaryk returned to the earlier time of Czechoslovakian glory, the Czech Reformation and the Hussite Period of the fourteenth century. Under Masaryk Czechoslovakia became an island of democracy where social, national, and religious equality thrived (Kovtun, 1990; Masaryk, 1974). Under his leadership Czechoslovakia became an educational mecca. It was Masaryk's belief that _history is moved by ideas in the minds of men (Kovtun, 1990). During the Stalinist domination Masaryk's-ideals were either deliberately ignored or grossly vilified as an enemy of the Russian Revolution and of communism. Street signs bearing his name were changed. Monuments were melted down. But Masaryk's memory could not be erased from the nation. In 1968 when the communist shackles began to loosen, Masaryk's spirit and writings began to return. In 1989 students ran up a sign changing the name of a 57


Prague Metro station to "Masarykova" in honor of Masaryk. Photos of Masaryk were ripped from books to decorate student protest posters. Pre1918 Masaryk had turned to the classics for his intellectual inspiration. His classical thought continued as a catalyst of opinion in spite of the official ban placed on his works during the Soviet domination of Czechoslovakia (Masaryk, 1974). Throughout Eastern Europe the hunger for books and ideas is frustrated by severe shortages. This shortage is due in part to the constant high demand for printed materials, but it is also aggravated by a shortage of paper. Another factor of this frustrating problem can be linked to politics. The Party favors the publishing of propaganda over literature (Echikson, 1990; Milosz, 1968; Havel, 1988; Inkeles, 1968). For many living in the West this passion, verging on obsession, for the written word is difficult to understand. However, there are some very basic reasons of explanation. The word and the images provided by literatureput color and flavor into an otherwise drab living experience. The opportunities for escape are limited within totalitarian countries (Napierkowski, communication, April 16, 1991). The person of Eastern Europe is described as having two sides --a public side and a private side. The public life is 58


dominated by seemingly cold, non-caring, methodical behaviors. In contrast, the private life with family and friends is filled with warmth and animated vitality. Literature provides an avenue for social interaction. Poetry readings and book discussions are valued experiences, full of seething arguments and uninhibited passion (Echikson, 1990; Milosz, 1968; Napierkowski, personal communication, April 16, 1991). Many of the opportunities for relaxation and escape which are popular in the United States simply are not options for the Eastern Europeans. Their television is boring. Public cinemas are filthy. The VCR has not become part of the average home life (Echikson, 1990; Napierkowski, personal communication, April 16, 1991). "Reading is a religion in this part of the world. It fulfilis a spiritual need" (Echikson, 1990, p. 121). This statement by Tadeusz Konwicki reveals a deeper human need beyond socialization, a void that is being filled, to a degree, by literature. Through literature, people are able to explore and examine the very essence of humanity (Ash, 1989; Havel, 1991). Vaclav Havel also refers to this void and the deadening effect of the ordered society when he refers to the loss of the spiritual element of life. Order has been established. At the price of a 59


paralysis to the spirit, a deadening of the heart, and the devastation of life. Surface consolidation has been achieved. At the price of a spiritual and moral crisis in society. (Havel, 1990b, p. 15) Hayel returned to the teachings of Masaryk for his logic. For Masaryk, thought went beyond strict logic to encompass the whole man, not only with reason, but also with his senses, his feeling and his will. According to both Masaryk and Havel men of thought become men of action. Literary works are connected with the reality which is lived. Marxist doctrine became the target for both men; its essence was the denial of a universal morality, a man's self worth. Both men maintain that the assertion of intellectual freedom is the right to search for truth against any authority and even more importantly, it is the assertion of the common humanity of man (Masaryk, 1974). This is the void which literature fills in the Eastern European countries. Another significant reason literature is important in Eastern Europe is its attention to serious topics. Common subjects are political commentary, moral philosophy, and complicated historical themes (Echikson, 1990; Napierkowski, personal communication, April 16, 1991). Each of the three writers, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel, engage in each of these themes. In the Captive Mind, Milosz confronted the reality of the artist in the 60


Marxist state. Many of the questions which Milosz raises as a man of letters also have consequences for the "average man." The reality of political doctrines weighs heavily in Eastern Europe. The dates are important. The years 1930-35. Mass unemployment. The destruction of wheat and coffee. Hitler's seizure of power. All those aroused a violent protest from everyone who was not ready to accept the absurd. The poems I wrote then did not call for revolutionary action, but there was terror in them and a foreboding of what was to come. I felt the future very keenly .. On one side were the.Germans Hitler and the Four Horses of the Apocalypse. on the other was Russia. In the middle was the nauseating Polish Right which, in the perspective of time, was doomed to failure. We want to run but cannot because our legs are made of lead. I had come up against the powerlessness of the individual involved in a mechanism that works independently of his will. (Milosz, 1968, p. 120) In the same vein, Konwicki paints a horrible, frightening, nightmarish picture of the writer's plight in a totalitarian state. The reader quickly realizes that the satire of A Minor Apocalypse aptly applies in degree to any citizen in a communist state. Through his essays and plays, Havel demands that the reader confront the realities of fear, and apathy, and isolation which pervade socialist societies. In the selected works of all three writers there is an underlying optimism which stems from a historical 61


consciousness for the spiritual renewal of every man within a socialist state. The opportunity for "living in the truth" still exists. To appreciate the selected writers, it is important to understand the historical background and roots of long standing authority which writers enjoy in Eastern Europe. "Nowhere outside of this part of Europe does the writer enjoy such exceptional privileges" (Ash, 1989; Milosz, 1968, p. 33). One of the most important functions of literature in these countries is to help preserve the culture. Culture as defined py Antonin Liehm, an outspoken member of the Czechoslovakian Writers' Union during the 1960s, "is the total of all manifold creative forces in a nation; it is a people's living memory; it is the painful consciousness and conscience" (Liehm, 1968, p. 67). czeslaw Milosz eloquently describes the impact of the "manifold forces" upon the writer. Like many of my generation, I could have wished my life has been a more simple affair. But the time and place of his birth are matters in which man has nothing to say. The part of Europe to which I belong has not, in our time, met with good fortune. Not many inhabitants of the Baltic States, of Poland or Czechoslovakia, or Hungary or Rumania, could summarize in a few words the story of their existence. Their lives have been complicated by the course of historic events. (Milosz, 1981, p. vii) Historical awareness is an integral part of cultural 62


appreciation. It is difficult for us, particularly citizens of the United States, to appreciate the complicated historical past of the Eastern Bloc countries. The strong common factors which unite Eastern European countries are their smallness, their fragility, and their preoccupation with obtaining real independence (Ash, 1989; Echikson, 1990; Heymann, 1966; Milosz, 1968; Milosz, 1989). In his opening essay to The Politics of Culture, Antonin Liehm, a prominent Czechoslovakian literary figure during the 1960s, observes: Whenever people are deprived of political rights, whenever a society lacks a functioning political system commensurate with its level of development then culture takes over the role normally held by politics. And culture continues to perform political tasks until normal political processes are restored. (Liehm, 1968, p. 42) Focusing particularly upon Poland and Czechoslovakia, Frederick Heymann suggests that a historical perspective is a must in order to understand the dominant but complex issues of the two countries. The history of Poland and Czechoslovakia is, and has been for many centuries, of great importance to the history of mankind. Poland and Czechoslovakia are close neighbors, joined by a long border, by European standards, of nearly four hundred miles. There are many commonalities between Poland and Czechoslovakia. First, both countries are 63


mainly West Slavs and speak closely related languages. From early times both countries have felt the strong impact of their powerful western neighbor, Germany. For both countries this German influence has had both positive and negative qualities. It provided a "culturally fertilizing" influence while at the same time challenged each country's own cultural productivity. More frequently than not, Germany was a danger rather than a blessing. As a result of this geographic vulnerability, in order to find and reconfirm their full and rich national heritage and identity, modern Poles and Czechs had to go back to much earlier times. It was in this classical past that they could find a marvelous wealth of national achievement which would also give higher meaning to their appearance as modern nations (Masaryk, 1974). Consequently, according to Heymann, both Poland and Czechoslovakia are intensely history probably more so than any other modern nation. This is true because both were victims of foreign attacks which for a while seemed to eliminate them as free and active members of the European community of nations. In these Slovak countries the intelligentsia continued to play a role of considerable significance for the total development of the cultural and political atmosphere (Heymann, 1966). According to Masaryk the past must stay 64


alive to shape the future. Both Poland and Czechoslovakia developed from their past a tradition which would become a force for the present and the future. The sense of the historical past as a building block for the future is a focus shared by all three writers, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel. Poland's patchwork past provides an excellent example of historical vulnerability. Poland has been referred to as "the Jesus Christ of nations, suffering oppression for the promise of general salvation" (Echikson, 1990, p. 31). The defiant Polish character is rooted in the bad fortune of the country's geography (Echikson, 1990; Heymann, 1966). Poland is a proud nation so often deprived of its nationhood. Neal Ascherson, in his attempt to,clarify the events of the early 1980s in Poland, reinforces the importance of looking to the past and appreciating Poland's vulnerability. The encounter with Poland corrodes most political assumptions, not because this is an exotic nation but because it presents a view of the squalid --underside of big concepts --the side which rests on top of human beings. Bismarck with his grand design for European peace becomes the man who had thousands of Polish small boys caned for speaking their own language; Churchill and stalin lost dignity in the hour of victory in wrangles over Polish rivers and villages they could not spell. Capitalism meant that the nation's factories were owned by Germans and Frenchmen. 65


Socialism, which in theory comes so much closer to the Polish sense of community and equality has become a term so defiled by public squalor, private privilege and hypocrisy about the soviet Union that it has become for the moment unrecognizable. (Ascherson, 1982, p. 10) Throughout the twentieth century, Poland has been at the center of turbulent events in Europe, a nation in nearly constant crisis (Ascherson, 1987). The enmity between the Poles and the Russians goes back beyond the nineteenth and twentieth century. According to Milosz, every civilization receives a permanent imprint from a period of key importance. For Poland the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were of primary importance. Again, reinforcing the importance of the classics. All the upheavals in Europe prove that beneath the changing surface there is an unchanging core. France's cultural continuity was not destroyed by the French Revolution, nor Russia's by the October Revolution, nor Poland's by the communist seizure of power in 1944-45. (Milosz, 1968, p. 128) Another important function of Eastern European literature is preserving the culture by safeguarding the language. The role of language as an important part of one's identity is not appreciated by those in the geographically secure West. As a result of their geographic vulnerability during the nineteenth century, many Poles, Czechs, and other Eastern Europeans were forced to learn the language of the occupier. Often they 66


were forbidden to speak their own languages even at school. In this abnormal situation, writers gained great authority. The entire intelligentsia enjoyed an aristocratic ethos, seeing itself charged with a sacred mission: to guard,. treasure and expand national culture (Echikson, 1990; Kovtun, 1990; Liehm, 1968; Milosz, 1968) When Czechoslovakia became independent in 1918, it was dubbed the Republic of Professors, referring to Thomas Msaryk and his successor, Edvard Benes. Both of these men were academics by training and temperament. Masaryk, as a professor of philosophy at the University of Prague, was instrumental in reviving the dormant Czech language which over the years had become little more than a subject of study and a repository for the national literature. Prior to Masaryk's presidency one of the most vivid examples of a nineteenth century bat.tle based on language rights was fought. A struggle for preeminence of the czech language in Bohemia, prompted furious clashes between Czechs and Germans. In 1891, when Prague's German street signs were replaced by Czech ones, it represented a triumph of considerable emotional impact (Echikson, 1990; Kovtun, 1990; Masaryk, 1974). Even after Masaryk became President, his intellectual interests never died. Masaryk was not only a gifted 67


statesman, but he was also a remarkable writer, a living combination of ideas and action. Masaryk inherited from the Romantic Movement the linguistic concept of a nation (Kovtun, 1990). The modern czech political consciousness emerged as an attempt to revive the national language and culture. Those like Masaryk who took over this role became the spiritual elite of a subjugated nation and eventually transformed themselves into a political elite (Liehm, 1868). Vaclav Havel is the most prominent of the contemporary Czech spiritual/political elite (Ash, 1989). Milosz powerfully conveys the importance of language for the Eastern European in The captive Mind. "My mother tongue, work in my mother tongue, is for me the most important thing in life" (p. x) The concepts of culture and nationalism are closely woven. Nationalism provides identity. In order to have a concrete appreciation of the Eastern European culture, it is absolutely essential to have a sense of the intense nationalistic feelings which abound. In countries often ruled or dominated by foreign powers --national survival has often been an act of will. Powerful and successful countries like America enjoy a sense of nationalism which comes from being victors. The vulnerable Eastern European nations have fallen back on a different, difficult sort of nationalism, the nationalism of 68


victims. Over the centuries, three great empires, Ottoman, German and Russian have kicked them around like a football. They have been traded abused, mocked. Sporadically they have managed to break free of outside domination. These moments of independence cherished as they are, never lasted. For Westerners, especially Americans, growing up in a stable, settled environment, it is hard to imagine how Eastern European nations lived through a roller -coaster of a history, full of sharp ups and downs, where just existing represented a sort of success. (Echikson, 1990, p. 31) During the historical ups and downs of Eastern European history, it was the writers who polished the myths of the national pasts and kept them alive. In doing this, often the very idea of the nation survived. For example in czechoslovakia, Masaryk appealed to the moral foundations of the nation and not just territorial rights. For Masaryk these moral were firmly embedded in the seventeenth century, the Czech Reformation, the efforts of the Hussite period (fourteenth century), and religious values. It was through his writings that Masaryk nurtured the seeds of Czechoslovakian national identity. Poland provides an excellent example of historical and national perseverance. Following Poland's "Age of Glory," during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, she fell vulnerable victim to the powers of Austria, Prussia and Russia. Among the three powers, the land of 69


Poland was divided in 1772, 1793, and finally, 1795. The name of Poland no longer existed on the map. This time the situation looked permanent (Heymann, 1966; Ascherson, 1987; Milosz, 1968). This trauma left deep scars on the national conscience. Poland existed only as an idea, embedded in a language, a religion, and a historical consciousness. (Echikson, 1990, p. 33) National identity at this point for Poland was dependent on the continuation of the Polish language. Literature played a significant role in maintaining the spirit of nationalism, the essence of national identity. The nineteenth century continued to be one of political turbulence for Poland. After two armed uprisings failed in the nineteenth century, few Polish nationalists saw the possibility of winning independence through violence. Instead of engaging open politics against the German, Austrian, or Russian Empires, thousands kept the cause alive by fighting for Polish culture. The typical Polish patriot of the turn of the century was not the revolutionary with a revolver in his pocket, but the young lady of good family with a book under her shawl (Echikson, 1990). Much the same idea was the basis for "Flying University" of the 1970s and early 1980s. The effectiveness of this non-violent national persistence existed also in the struggle of Solidarity 70


during the 1980s. The power of the workers' movement was enhanced when coupled with the words and support of the intelligentsia --the writers. Lech Walesa and Bronislaw Geremek with Tadeusz Mazowiecki symbolically portray the continued strength of the national Polish intellectual/political culture. In countries often ruled or dominated by foreign powers, where national survival has meant an act of will, culture has long substituted for politics (Echikson, 1990; Liehm, 1968). The Nazi occupation provided another excellent example of the resilient Polish spirit at work. During the occupation all cultural life came to an abrupt halt. The entire Polish state was again in jeopardy of becoming extinct. The underground resistance not only printed handbills, urging the patriots forward into battle, and political leaflets, but also poems and short stories. This same literary/political link was observed during the 1980s when Milosz's poetry appeared on Solidarity posters (Ash, 1989). Again, similar to the situations of the nineteenth century, literature prevented, to a degree, the death of a culture. Czeslaw Milosz was active with the literary underground in Poland during World War II. The following quote from his autobiography, A Native Realm: A Search for SelfDefinition, reveals the intensity of Milosz's belief that 71


literature reflects more of a people than just the here and now. I wished something better for Polish literature than the half-witted police theories that had gradually come to enmesh it. It was our duty to carry the precious values of our European heritage across the dark era, even though one were to be surrounded for whole decades by nothing but absurdity, blood, and feces. Wear a mask, throw them off scent -you will be forgiven if you preserve the love of the Good within you. (Milosz, 1968, p. 269) This same sense of political hide-and-seek in order to sustain the culture, the sense of personal and national identity is also seen in the writing of Konwicki. The importance of maintaining the flame of nationalism was more recently reinforced by the words of Czech novelist Milan Kundera. Kundera describes how communism regimes, like Nazism and nineteenth century occupations, try to make citizens forget their history, their traditions, and their national identity. They manipulated the past, teaching a "correct" and "incorrect" version of an event. The struggle against communism concentrated on persuading people not to forget. (Echikson, 1990, p. 172) Polish historian Krystyna Kersten explained it this way. "In this part of the world, history is not a simple search for truth. It is a weapon in the fight for national identity" (Echikson, 1990, p. 271). This passion for national identity and a sense of historic 72


perspective is prophetically revealed in the words of a young Hungarian. "If you live in a state of oppression, the history of the nation lies much heavier on the heart" (Echikson, 1990, p. 271). The importance of cultural history and the resulting nationalistic feelings communicated by writers through their literature written in the native language of the Eastern Luropean countries continues to be a powerful weapon for social change. 73


CHAPTER 4 THE WRITER WITHIN THE TOTALITARIAN SOCIETY Beware! Here speaks a rebel, one of that dangerous breed, the soft and polite. Heinrich Boll The position of the writer in a totalitarian society is different from the writer in a non-totalitarian society. In a totalitarian society, literature has largely been subverted from its status as an art and converted into an instrument of mass communication designed to effect mobilization of the population in support of the rule of the Communist Party. The propaganda properties of the novel and the play are only slightly different from the newspaper and the radio (Inkeles, 1968). Literature exists to serve the interests of the people, the party, and the State. Literature must "return blow for blow against all this vile slander and attacks upon Soviet culture and also attack the bourgeois culture which is in a state of degeneration and decay" (Inkeles, 1968, p. 282). In a totalitarian state the activities of the writers are closely supervised by government censorship. If a novel, a poem, an essay is deemed favorable, it will be published in large numbers. If it is not deemed


favorable, it simply will not be published (Inkeles, 1968). The Party seeks to insure that literary works which meet its approval and serve a desired need are given mass circulation (Inkeles, 1968; Milosz, 1968; Havel, 1988). However, lack of official publication does not necessarily kill a work; the samizdat press, or the underground press, is active in all Soviet dominated Eastern European countries (Ash, 1989). such is the plight of the writer in a totalitarian society. However, not all writers in Eastern Europe choose to remain within the prescribed hierarchy of the system. The three writers of focus, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel, dared to go beyond the imposed Party Even though the intelligentsia, including the writers, ultimately led the crusade against communism, the deep patriotic tradition of the intellectuals first served the communist oppressor (Echikson, 1990; Milosz, 1981). After World II many intellectuals joined the party. Bombed cities reinforced that liberal Western values had not stood up to Hitler. During the war, communists often led the resistance. War proved a great leveler; privileges attached to age or class ceased to have meaning and the possession of wealth raised doubts about one's sincerity. After the war, the young and old, who had manned the underground resistance movements, 75


wanted to find some replacement way of expressing the cooperation, the sense of common goal and the warm comradeship from which they had learned to seek comfort (Echikson, 1990). Given the existing conditions at that particular time in history, socialism's theory and rhetoric were appealing. Milosz describes the initial appeal of Marxism. "People of my generation absorbed Marxism through osmosis (Milosz, 1968, p. 113). Milosz continues. While I was turning into a Red, I doubt if I understood what makes revolutionary theories so appealing. Today, I would say that all the young people in Europe who had similar illuminations were seeking, above all, an instrument that would allow them to come to terms with the phenomenon of movement that is with time. Here, then, was a dialectic of development that operated with the same necessity in society and in nature, and it supplied a key that would explain everything. From then on, separate facts did not exist; each was seen against a "background" Marxism probably had such great drawing power because it appeared at a time when the world had become too difficult to grasp either scientifically or humanistically; and the more primitive the mind, the greater the pleasure in reducing unruly, disparate quantities to a common denominator. (Milosz, 1968, p. 120) A surge of genuine admiration for the Soviet Union's victory compensated for Eastern Europe's deep sense of cultural superiority over Russia (Milosz, 1968; Liehm, 1968). Youthful Eastern Europeans, looking only at the total devastation of their countries, saw a hope in the 76


newly emerged Soviet Union, as perhaps, a realistic model for modernization and industrialization. The window of opportunity had seemingly appeared for history's victims to now become part of the driving force of history (Echikson, 1990). The vision and appeal was tempting. It must be noted at this point that the intellectuals of the Eastern European countries were not the only intellectuals joining the Marxist march. Many of the most talented Frenchmen, Italians, and other Western Europeans also flocked to the doors of communism (Liehm, 1968). Neal Ascherson (1982), the British writer, described this post war pro-communist sentiment as a huge revival of political energy, like the continental wave of revolutions in 1848. In The Captive Mind czeslaw Milosz describes how Polish artists, normally rational men, were swept away by the appeal of socialism; they joined the Party to take a turn at the 11steering wheel of history.11 Hitherto, I had no strong political affinities, and was only too ready to shut myself off from the realities of life. But reality would never let me remain aloof for long. The state of things in Poland inclined me toward left wing ideas. My point of view can be defined negatively rather than positively. I disliked the right wing groups whose platform consisted chiefly of anti-Semitism. During the occupation I, like my colleagues, wrote for the clandestine publications, which were especially numerous in Poland. My experiences in those years led me to the conclusion that after the defeat of Hitler, only men true to a socialist program would be capable of abolishing the 77


injustices of the past, and rebuild the economies of Central and Eastern Europe. (Milosz, 1981, p. viii) Czeslaw Milosz willingly joined ranks with the communist system. He readily admits "that writers in the people's democracies belong to the new privileged cast." The intellectuals, the writer, were important to the new communist system. "The most immediate job, therefore, was to bridge the gap between the small group of communists and the country as a whole. Those who could help most in building this bridge were famous writers .. (Milosz, 1981, p. 100). During the years immediately following the War, 1945-1951, Milosz was a freelance writer in Poland, and then cultural attache, first in Washington and later in Paris. However, in the end, he broke with the Warsaw system. Unable to compromise his intellectual integrity any ionger, Milosz asked for and was granted political asylum in France in 1951. The Captive Mind was published in 1953. My literary generation went around with its back bent by dread and futility. The more it tried to argue away its failure, the more painfully it felt as if a duty was being shirked. What duty? Going out into the street and shouting at people that each day was bringing them closer to catastrophe. (Milosz, 1968, p. 121) Milosz battled a significant internal struggle before ultimately choosing emigration. 78


My mother tongue, work in my mother tongue, for me the most important thing in life. And my country, where what I wrote could be printed and could reach the public, lay within the Eastern Empire. My aim and purpose was to keep alive freedom of thought in my own special field; I sought in full knowledge and conscience to subordinate my conduct to the fulfillment of that aim. I did not want to become an emigre and so give up all chance of taking a hand in what was going on in my own country. The time was to come when I should be forced to admit myself defeated. The abyss for me was exile, the worst of all misfortunes, for it meant sterility and inaction. What is a poet who has no longer a language of his own? (Milosz, 1981, p. xii) Milosz ultimately reaffirms that to be true to his artistic conscience and his societal obligation --to look at the world from an independent viewpoint, to tell the truth as it is seen, and to keep watch and ward in the interest of society as a whole --he had no choice but to emigrate. The excruciating pain of this decision shouts from the page. Milosz makes it quite clear that ultimately there are only two choices available to the artist --absolute conformity to Russian socialism or absolute rejection. For the committed artist there is no middle road. This passion of conviction, which is shared with Konwicki and Havel, is certainly responsible in part for the influence these men wield as agents of social change. Milosz cautions the reader against making quick 79


judgments regarding the position of artists within the Eastern European countries. To have a full understanding of the artist's dilemma, the historical perspective must be considered. To understand the course of events in Eastern and Central Europe during the first post war years, it must be realized that pre-war social conditions called for extensive reform. It must further be understood that the Nazi rule had occasioned a profound disintegration of the existing order of things. In these circumstances, the only hope was to set up a social order which would be new, but would not be a copy of the Russian regime. So what was planned in Moscow as a state on the road to servitude, was willingly accepted in the countries concerned as though it were progress. Men will clutch at illusions when they have nothing else to hold on to. (Milosz, 1981, p. x) In his opening essay to Antonin Liehm's The Politics of Culture, Jean-Paul Sartre describes a similar post war climate in Czechoslovakia which made the country vulnerable to Soviet socialism. At the time, they were full of gratitude toward the USSR, which had freed them, and dazzled by its victory, which they held to be the triumph of a free society over a great capitalist power, or, more simply, the triumph of Good over Evil. (Sartre, 1968, p. 7) The sense of desperation, the need to begin literally from the beginning is something Western readers have difficulty understanding. For the Eastern Europeans, who had suffered the final assault of World War II, Milosz and sartre captured the essence of their desperate plight. 80


Initially, Milosz admits that he was duped into believing he could continue to function as an ethical artist, that he could continue to preach a proper attitude of doubt in regard to a merely formal system of ethics. However, "the growing influence of the doctrine on my way of thinking came up against the resistance of my whole nature" (Milosz, 1981, p. xiii). Milosz painfully chose to leave the system rather than be intellectually compromised by it. Even though he participated in the struggle of Poland's resistance to the communist doctrine outside the boundaries of his country, his words did not fail in their mission to reach the hearts and minds of his countrymen (Thompson, 1989). Frank Gibney, in his work The Frozen Revolution -Poland: A study in Communist Decay, reflects on the importance of writers such as Milosz on the October Revolution in 1956. "Such doubts had been in the general dark. Many of the brave manifestos of 1955 and 1956 had been written in 1953, but prudently kept in desk drawers through the years intervening" (Gibney, 1959, p. 99). In 1948 the communists took power and the "big brother" gave its little brothers a prefabricated socialism as a gift. The conflict of cultures soon became apparent. Poland and czechoslovakia with an 81


established "cultural self" had gone beyond the phase of primitive accumulation and was embarrassed by the sort of socialism so politely bestowed upon them. The new system had become a contradiction of terms. It denied and "deprived citizens of any real participation in national undertakings when at the same time called upon people to unite" (Sartre, 1968, p. 11). Instead of presenting itself as an open set of problems requiring at one and the same time a rational transformation of structures and a continual re-examination of ideas --it lay claim with incredible conceit to being a gracious gift of providence, a socialism without tears --in other words, without a revolution and without the slightest chance of being called into question. The tasks were already defined and needed only to be performed. Knowledge was a closed area and needed only to be learned by heart. (Sartre, 1968, p. 10) The soviet gift was blind and deaf to man's human dimension, it reduced him to a mechanical system, not only in theory but in day to day practice. Milosz (1981) learned "in effect this cult of community, Soviet socialism, produces something which poisons the community itself" (p. 76). This notion of self contained destruction within the socialist system is echoed by Konwicki and Havel. Stalinists have no knowledge of the conditions human plants need in order to thrive. Forbidding any research in this direction because such study contradicts orthodoxy, they bar mankind from the possibility of acquiring 82


fuller knowledge of itself. Dialectical materialism, Russian style, is nothing more than nineteenth-century science vulgarized to the second power. (Milosz, 1981, p. 200) Jean-Paul Sartre, in his essay, "The Socialism That Came in from the Cold," acknowledges and reinforces Milosz's artistic disillusionment with the socialist system. In art the official doctrine was realism. But it was forbidden to speak of the real. The cult of the youth was publicly celebrated, but our youth was frustrated. Official slogans were full of joy, yet we didn't dare to play even the slightest prank. (Sartre, 1968, p. 16) Everyone, whether worker, peasant, or intellectual was the victim of an alienation. The result was withdrawal, apathy and eventually cynicism. Sartre describes the post socialist mentality. Mineralized thought can bring repose; one sets it up like a gravestone in a tormented head and it stays there, heavy, inert, brings "security," erasing doubts, reducing the spontaneous movements-of life to unimportant swarming of insects_. ( Sartre, 19 6 8 p. 2 0) Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel realized that the best strategy against dialectical materialism's mineralized thought was an emotional strategy. The people listened as witnessed by the Polish October Revolution (1956), the Prague Spring (1968), the Solidarity Movement (1980), and the crowds in Wenceslas Square (1989). "The resistance against the new set of values, dialectic materialism, is 83


emotional. It survives. A man's subconscious or not-quite-conscious life is richer than his vocabulary" {Milosz, 1981, p. 201). Tadeusz Konwicki's (1983) A Minor Apocalypse is a novel which certainly appeals to the emotional level of man. Konwicki is a contemporary Polish author who has enjoyed prominence with the Polish people but not with the Polish socialist authorities (Echikson, 1990). In the late 1910s and the early 1980s, Konwicki had found increasing difficulty in getting his novels published in Poland {Echikson, 1990). The very title of the novel could well suggest the reason. A Minor Apocalypse tells of one man's attempt to depict the destruction of evil and the triumph of good. The political overtones are obvious. Richard Lourie, the translator of the.novel, declares that A Minor Apocalypse is a hard book to pin down, for it keeps changing in the light of history. It was written in the late seventies. Gierck, who became leader of the Communist Party after the 1970 strikes and riots in Gdansk and other cities, created a prosperity so convincing that Poles had begun to worry about "bourgeoisification" {Konwicki, 1983). When the bubble burst, the country was in a state of ruin, a situation so grotesque and desperate that new, freewheeling samizdat 84


(underground) publishing houses sprang up in Poland (Konwicki, 1983). It was in such a publishing house that A Minor Apocalypse was first published in 1979. It was also the time when the "Flying University" moved its lectures from apartment to apartment to avoid gangs of police-sponsored roughnecks that often thwarted their meetings (Konwicki, 1983). The samizdat presses were always on the run too. "In Poland, the best, the most critical, and bravest writers reacted to official ban by challenging the stale monopoly and publishing them in samizdat. They developed a whole counterculture of independent publishing" (Ash, 1989, p. 14). Sometimes whole editions were confiscated during these raids. It was a time of courage and innovation, but it was not a time of hope. This sense of lurking fear and chaotic societal disorder is embodied in Konwicki's novel (Ash, 1989; Konwicki, 1983; Napierkowski, personal communication, April 21, 1992). It would have taken a prophet to see what the year 1989 would bring to the history of Poland. Konwicki manipulates these historical events into an Orwellian surrealistic nightmare (Konwicki, 1983). According to Lourie, in the period of great events, from the strikes of August 1980 to the imposition of martial law on December 13, 1981, reality seemed to be offering 85


hope and A Minor Apocalypse seemed a different book (Konwicki, 1983). "In these seventeen months, it appeared as the bitter matrix from which the intellectual opposition had risen" (Konwicki, 1983, p. vi). Konwicki's novel cannot be forced into a modern historical period. It epitomizes Milosz's concept of appealing to the emotional. Konwicki's approach to the communist philosophy is much like a toothache. The reader is aware of the pain, but he cannot tell exactly which tooth is aching. Konwicki, like Havel, focuses on the importance of accepting individual responsibility. That is ultimately what the narrator of the story does in the final line of the novel. However, the importance of individual responsibility is addressed throughout the novel. We've given the oppressor the slip. We've outwitted him. We are free because we have imposed our own slavery. Is History our oppressor? I'd prefer History, there's more honor in it. (Konwicki, 1983, p. 118) The reality, that people are responsible for creating their own prisons as much as political systems are responsible, gives new power to the individual. It is now within the power of the individual to bring about change. This same power within the person is advocated by Havel. One of Havel's most famous parables relates the 86


story of the green grocer. The green grocer is a manager of a fruit and vegetable shop who places in his window, among the onion and carrots, the slogan "Workers of the World Unite." Nobody believes in the slogan, but if the manager refused to display it, he would lose the chance of spending his holidays on the Black Sea and his children would not be able to go to the university. Out of fear, he continues to wave the slogan. If positive change is to come to communism, Havel reasoned that the owner must take down the false sign and begin "living in the truth" (Havel, 1990b). Acceptance of individual responsibility provides a potential moving force for social change. Within his novel, Konwicki also addresses the important role of writer within the totalitarian society. "By the way, why aren't you writing?" "You think writing's worth it?" The know --it --alls say it isn't. But if they say it isn't that means it is. I even have an idea. You should write for one particular reader that's always best. Me, for example. Reject censorship, raison d'etat, all fears, and write like a free man for other free men. You were always proud but never vain. The size of the printing isn't the important thing for you. Better one intelligent reader with a literary head than tens of thousands of coelenterates with toilet paper between their ears. Your book won't die in my hands. Only in my hands will it have a chance of lasting, living forever. (Konwicki, 1983, p. 119) Through literature the potential power of individual 87


responsibility can be, must be reinforced. People have the ability to make a difference, to act as agents of change. The monster which must be slain is indifference! Perhaps indifference, the child of mediocrity, is a volatile material like the mist which petrifies, forms crags, and rises to the sky in a mountainous mass while crushing our pitiable life? Perhaps transparent, colorless, odorless, formless, sluggish, ubiquitous, nice, cozy, innocent indifference is the only sin which can gum up the sieve of Providence? And could it be that only for that sin, which is not a sin, we will be judged on Judgement Day? (Konwicki, 1983, p. 144) Like Konwicki, Vaclav Havel demands that people wake upand actively confront the insidious nature of indifference. Also, like Konwicki, he asserts the "power of the powerless" if they accept the challenge of demonstrating individual responsibility. Those apparently powerless individuals who have the courage to speak the truth out loud and stand by what they say body and soul, and are prepared to pay dearly for doing so, have, astonishingly enough, greater power, however formally disfranchised they are, than ten-thousands of anonymous electors in other circumstances. (Havel, 1990b, p. xviii) Responsibility as fate --as destiny is one of the most typical, individual, and personal themes of Havel's thinking. In December 1989, Vaclav Havel, the celebrated playwright and defender of human rights, was elected President of Czechoslovakia. The poetic and historic 88


justice of that event powerfully strikes the reader of Havel's self-portrait, Disturbing the Peace. In the tradition of Thomas Masaryk, Vaclav Havel epitomizes the link between the man of letters and the man of political responsibility. His autobiography puts much of Eastern Europe's history into perspective, especially that of Czechoslovakia, as well as the notion that writers play significant roles as agents of change. Disturbing the Peace is a meditation on the transcendent clarity of art; on human identity and responsibility, on the necessity of speaking the truth. It stands as an essential.statement about Havel's life and work, and about the power of an artist to awaken the national conscience --an awakening that has had a profound effect on the course of his country's history and on the imagination of the world. (Havel, 1990a, p. x) Paul Wilson, friend and translator of Havel's works, reveals in the Introduction to Disturbing the Peace, that this book was first published in the summer of 1989under Havel's own samizdat press. It was the first samizdat book to come out legally in the new czechoslovakia. Wilson comments on the appropriateness of the title disturbing the peace. That was exactly what Havel had done --disturbed the artificial "peace'' of the totalitarian system. It is difficult to separate Havel's artistic commitments and his public behaviors. In the Preface to 89


Havel's (1991) Open Letter.s: Selected Writings, Paul Wilson, offers insight into the man and his work. Havel resp.onds in writing to events, experiences, insights, arguments, states of mind. When his pieces are assembled in the order in which he wrote them, they become a chronicle of his intellectual life, and implicitly, of his times as well (Havel, 1991). Vaclav Havel is one of the most important European writers and intellectuals of our time (Ash, 1989; Havel, 1988). Often Havel is referred to as the "Keeper of the Czech Conscience" (Echikson, p. 130). one simple, courageous quality made him such a powerful figure --his ferocious insistence that his homeland's gray, unrelenting totalitarianism was killing the Czechoslovakian people. Many of Havel's essays were agents of change (Ash, 1989). His essay, "Letter to Dr. Gustav Husak General Secretary of the czechoslovak Communist Party" (1975) vividly reinforces this vision. Eastern European scholar, Timothy Garton Ash, reveals the impact of this essay, one of Havel's most famous. 11 I remember clearly the deep transformation in the mood in Prague brought about by 'Dear Dr. Husak ... This widely circulated letter (1975) raised the hope that Husak's regime would one day end, made the end seem inevitable, and brought it closer" (Ash, 1989, p. 14). In that essay, he addresses the fear 90


which permeated his homeland. The basic question one must ask is this: why are people in fact behaving in the way they do? For any unprejudiced observer the answer is, I think, self evident, they are driven by fear. For fear of losing his job, the school teacher teaches things he does not believe; fearing for his future, the pupil repeats them after him. Fear of being prevented from continuing their work leads many scientists and artists to give allegiance to ideas they do not in fact accept, to write things they do not agree with or know to be false. Naturally, fear is not the only building block in the present social structure. None the less, it is the main, the fundamental material. Thus, if a man today is afraid, say, of losing the chance of working in his own field, this may be a fear equally strong, and productive, as if in another historical context --he had been threatened with the confiscation of his property. (Havel, 1990b, p. 4) In this same essay, Havel ties the rule of fear to the suppression of culture. Much has been said and written about the peculiar degree of devastation which our contemporary culture has reached: about the hundreds of prohibited books and authors and dozens of liquidated periodicals; about the breaking up of all the former artistic associations and countless scholarly institutes and their replacement by kinds of dummies run by little gangs of aggressive, fanatics, notorious careerists, incorrigible cowards and incompetent upstarts anxious to seize their opportunity in the general void. (Havel, 1990b, p. 16) Havel is perceived as a strong man who never compromised his ideals. Paul Wilson reveals the best testimony to the power of Havel's prose comes from the 91


Polish politician and former Solidarity activist, Zbygniew Bujak. In the late 1970s, .when Bujak was a young activist trying to organize resistance to the communist bosses in a factory and began to doubt what he was doing, he read Havel's essay, "The Power of the Powerless." "It's ideas strengthened me and persuaded us that what we were doing would not evaporate without a trace, that this was the source of our power, and that one' day this power would manifest itself .. When I look at the victories of Solidarity and Charter 77, I see in them an astonishing fulfillment of prophecies contained in Havel's essays" (Havel, 1991, p. viii). You do not become a dissident just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your own personal sense of responsibility. It begins with an attempt to do your work well, and ends up with you being branded an enemy of socialism. (Echikson, 1990, p. 122) It is this message of personal responsibility which Havel sends to the Czechoslovakian people. An entire country's sense of responsibility came together in Wenceslas Square in December, 1989. Havel's strength as a writer lies in his ability to express in intimate terms the abstract concept of individual responsibility. The call to "live in the truth," which is put forth in his essay "Power of the 92


Powerless" is fundamentally simple. Havel points out that the significance of the "truth" is bigger in the Eastern European countries than in the West. Simply put, Communism is a lie. If the main pillar of the system, communism, is living a lie, then it is not surprising that the fundamental threat to the system is "living in the truth" (Havel, 1990b). As crowds gathered in Wenceslas Square during early December 1989, Havel called for dialogue with the Communist Party. He was not calling for its violent destruction. He vowed, "We will not be like them." The celebrated Civic Forum, which Havel headed, encompassed all ideologies and all age groups. Like Milosz and Konwicki, Vaclav Havel challenged the totalitarian political system within his country by reinforcing the importance of cultural awareness, the alienation of the individual within the communist society, and the need for individual responsibility. 93

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CHAPTER 5 THE WRITER AS AGITATOR Application of the Bowers and Ochs Model After examining the social environment and the selected works of three representative Eastern European writers, czeslaw Milosz, Tadeusz Konwicki, and Vaclav Havel,it is possible to examine the role of the writer as an agent of social change, using a theoretical paradigm of communication and social change theory. Using the Bowers and Ochs (1971) paradigm of social change found in The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control, the literature of these men qualifies as "rhetoric --the rationale of instrumental symbolic behavior" (p. 2). The selected literature of the three writers is "instrumental" in that it contributed to the message of urging the citizens of the respective countries, Poland and Czechoslovakia, to accept individual responsibility and actively confront the lies of communism. The "symbolic behavior" of the literature is manifest in the call to the people to resist and to ultimately overthrow the stagnant Communist regime. The culmination of this instrumental, symbolic behavior is seen in the bloodless revolutions in the Eastern European countries during

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1989. As defined by Bowers and Ochs, social change "is any change, written or unwritten, in the way society regulates itself" (p. 5). The social change which took place in Eastern Europe and which was significantly influenced by the writing of the identified writers was both substantive and procedural. It was substantive in that Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel called for the abolition of the existing set of social mores which perpetrated the apathy and fear which had enslaved the countries since the establishment of the Soviet system of socialism. Procedural change was evidenced by the actual change in the organization of the governments. In Poland the establishment of free elections and the inclusion of Solidarity members within the ranks the government revealed significant procedural changes. In Czechoslovakia the election of a playwright as President, exemplified the extent of procedural change. All three writers fit the Bowers and Ochs definition of "agitation." Agitation exists when 1) people outside the normal decision making establishment 2) advocate significant social change and 3) encounter a degree of resistance within the establishment such as to require more than the normal discursive means of persuasion. (Bowers & Ochs, 1971, p. 4) All three writers were ultimately outside the normal 95

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decision-making establishment. Although Milosz initially supported the concept of socialism for Poland after the devastation of the Second World War, the reality of the deadening affect of the system upon all that it touched eventually forced Milosz to choose emigration from his beloved land over comprise of his ideals. Havel, on the other hand, chose imprisonment over emigration. It was his firm conviction that in order to actively resist the system one must remain within the country. Milosz, Konwicki and Havel were refused publication rights within their homelands and were forced to turn to samizdat (private underground) presses in order to express their ideas. All three writers, in their individual styles advocated for significant social change. communism, as Havel described it, was a destructive, dreary, demeaning lie, and had to be eradicated if the individual cultures of the Eastern European countries were to survive. By accepting individual responsibility, one would be able to "live in the truth" thus, defeating the lie of communism. The mere refusal to publish these writer's works represented significant resistance on the part of the establishment. While the focus of this study has not attempted to include a definitive discussion of control strategies on the part of the establishment, Bowers and Ochs examine 96

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the use of suppression by the establishment as a significant strategy of control. Suppression demands not only an understanding of the opposing ideology, but a firm resolve and commitment on the part of the decision makers to stop the spread of the ideology by thwarting the goals and personnel of the agitation movement. (Bowers & Ochs, 1971, p. 47) Tactics included are: harassment, especially against the leaders of agitation, i.e., Havel; denial of agitator demands; and banishment and purgation (Bowers & Ochs, 1971). The establishment had acknowledged the importance of well-known writers in bridging the gap between the political system and the people (Kaplan, 1973). The establishment feared the impact of these writers and their words. The establishment retaliated with the use of suppressive tactics as described by Bowers and Ochs. In the Eastern European countries, particularly Poland and Czechoslovakia, during the last months of 1989 the "cool" strategies of agitation were definitely evident. National flags, music, strikes., symbolic reinforcement of earlier historic events, and mass gatherings of heretofore uninvolved citizens all supported agitation based on lateral deviance aimed directly at the existing value system --the imposed Soviet socialist system. In Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel 97

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was directly involved in the implementation of these strategies (Ash, 1990). According to the definition of agitation, and specifically agitation based on lateral deviance, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel were all three significant agitators because they were disputing the very heart of the Russian socialist system as practiced in Eastern Europe. Works of each writer forecast the eventual downfall of the system because it did not provide opportunities for nourishing or nurturing the human soul. Each writer sees as part of his artistic responsibility the necessity to challenge the existing system and preserve the national integrity and culture of his motherland. Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel accomplished this by significantly preserving the culture of their homeland by reinforcing a sense of historical awareness, thus, encouraging a sense of nationalism. All three writers reinforce through their writings the difference which exists between them, the Polish and the Czechoslovakian societies, and the occupier, Russia or the Soviet Union. To accomplish this, constant allusions are made to the days of past national glory and the importance of the individual within society. Bowers and Ochs identify three integral components of every social system: structure, goal orientation, and 98

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power. Bowers and Ochs point out that a group's adherence to its ideology, those statements which define the unique characteristics of the group and its unique set of beliefs, may be in theory only. That is, often individuals belong to groups, even political systems, in name only. The truth of this phenomenon was significantly seen during 1989 in Eastern Europe. The masses which filled the city streets of Poland and Czechoslovakia were not all acknowledged dissidents. Rather, they were common citizens exercising their choice to "live in the truth." Like the green grocer, the time had come for them to take the sign "Workers of .the World Unite" out of their lives. Using John R.P. French, Jr. and Betram Raven's five types of social power --reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, referent power, and expert power, it is possible to examine the power structure within Poland and Czechoslovakia. An analysis of the social power within those countries provides insight into the opportunity for lateral deviance as practiced by Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel as communicated through their literature. Reward power belonged to the established governments in those Eastern European countries. Reward power was demonstrated early by the Soviet styled governments in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Reward power is defined as 99

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the ability on the part of one group to give rewards to another group. Czeslaw Milosz eloquently referred to the power and the appeal the new system initially had for him and other writers following the horror of the Nazi occupation of the Second World War. The government recognized the important link between the writers and the people. The government became the avenue to publication --the reward for the writers. Bowers and Ochs also defined reward power as the ability to "withdraw negatively perceived things and events." Specific examples of this negative quality of reward power are easily identified in the writer/state relationship in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Once a writer, such as Milosz, Konwicki, or Havel, failed to comply with government "literary guidelines," they no longer retained their government given identity as "writer." Not only were current works refused publication, but existing works were removed from the shelves. It was as if they and their ideas never existed. Coercive power, being able to influence another's behavior by threat of punishment, also belongs to the government in Poland and czechoslovakia. Milosz's forced emigration and Havel's imprisonment are documented examples of coercive power. Legitimate power exists when one individual or group 100

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is perceived by others as having "a social contract" for that power. Legitimate power for Poland and Czechoslovakia was established at Yalta. It was at this time that the Soviet system for Eastern Europe was Periodically the authority of the establishment was reconfirmed by the significant use of governmental force --Poland 1956, 1981, Czechoslovakia 1968. "Sustained agitation almost always has as its principal demand the redistribution of legitimate power" (Bowers & Ochs, 1971, p. 13). Using French and Raven's definition of referent power, it applies to agitator individuals and groups. One group is defined as having referent power when the influence is attracted to and identified with that group. Milosz's call for cultural awareness and historical memory caused the Poles to draw near him and his literature. Solidarity exemplifies an agitator group which employed significant referent power in the presentation of the "social contract" to the government in June 1989. The forceful literature of Konwicki and Havel, as it specifically addressed individual responsibility, provided a strong influence for the people to become involved. The power/appeal of Civic Forum could be witnessed by the growing numbers of silent protesters in Wenceslas Square in December 1989. 101

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Bowers and Ochs define expert power as the power which exists when one individual or group thinks that another has superior knowledge or skill in a particular area in which influence is to be exerted. Expert power in this analysis is also represented by the agitator groups and individuals. The Eastern European societies reserve an honored position for intellectuals and writers because of their close alignment with historical culture and cultural identity. Vaclav Havel epitomizes the cultural respect afforded a person of letters and action. Bowers and Ochs identify seven specific AGITATOR STRATEGIES: petition, promulgation, solidification, polarization, non-violent resistance, escalation, and revolution. These seven strategies can be easily outlined using the writers Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel, their literature, and the events leading up to the final days of 1989. It is important to note that according to Bowers and Ochs these strategies are "more or less cumulative and progressive" (p. 17). Petition the Establishment The strategy of petition includes all of the normal discursive means of persuasion (Bowers & Ochs, 1971). When social change is being advocated, the petition consists of the representation of the case to the 102

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establishment complete with evidence, arguments, and some indication of the number of people which are being represented. All three writers, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel, were politically active during their time, and their writing had significant direct political and social impact in their countries. Specific petitions included the impact of Milosz's The Captive Mind (1981) on the October Revolution in Poland in 1956. Konwicki's influence was felt during the early Solidarity years of 1979-1983. Konwicki's ideas were central to the intellectual and political discussions which were a part of the "Flying University" system during the dark days of martial law in Poland. Havel, among others, was first instrumental in his petition to the Congress of Czech Writers to recognize the rights of writers in 1967 and the individual citizen. It was this development of a strong reform movement which brought in the Warsaw Pact troops and resulted in the unforgettable Prague Spring in 1968. Havel was also the key draftsman of Charter 77 in 1977 which insisted on establishing civil rights for the "common" citizen. Havel was most recently the guiding genius behind the formation of Civic Forum in 1989, which ultimately purged his country of Communist rule. The two most prominent petitions to directly affect the Revolution of 1989 were the Solidarity social 103

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contract presented to the Polish government in April, 1989, and the petition of rights presented to the Czechoslovakian government by the Civic Forum, November 27, 1989 (Ash, 1990; Echikson, 1990). Specifically, these most recent and ultimately successful petitions included specific representation of the agitator's grievances to the establishment, complete with arguments, evidence, and some indication of the number of people being represented as evidenced by the swelling numbers of citizens in the streets of Polish and Czechoslovakian cities. Promulgation The strategy of promulgation includes tactics which are designed to win social support for the agitator's position. These tactics include: informational picketing, erection of posters, distribution of handbills and leaflets, mass protest meetings and the exploitation of the mass media (Bowers & Ochs, 1971). The importance of making the agitator's statements public is the essence of the promulgation tactics. Protest and mass meetings are used as a ploy to attract media attention. Bowers and Ochs emphasize that ideologies are not newsworthy, but events are. By staging events the message of the agitator's cause is spread. 104

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The events of 1989 in Poland and Czechoslovakia vividly illustrate the promulgation tactics. World news covered the activities of Solidarity during the summer of 1989. The news of free elections filled the Polish streets with printed political posters, handbills, and leaflets urging the Polish citizens to exercise their new freedom and vote for Solidarity's candidates. The masses of Polish people who took to the streets became significant news all over the world. The people were now exercising publicly and politically the sentiments which had been reflected for many years through the literature of the writers, Milosz and Konwicki. Likewise, the same significant promulgation tactics were observed in Czechoslovakia later in 1989. The first significant event, which ultimately was the beginning of the end, was the student protest of November 17. The violent police intervention enhancedthe media interest in the event. Symbols included the prominent display of the Czech flag everywhere, pictures of Havel and Masaryk displayed throughout Prague, the use of candles at the evening mass meetings in Wenceslas Square, and public appearances by Havel himself. When the media covered these events, they also exposed the message of the agitators. 105

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Solidification The strategy of solidification occurs primarily within the agitating group rather than beyond it. The solidification strategy refers generally to the tactics which build or reinforce the cohesiveness of the agitator group. Solidification tactics include: plays, songs, slogans, esoteric symbols, and in-group publications (Bowers & Ochs, 1971). With the significant literary and intellectual involvement in the politics of Poland and Czechoslovakia, solidification examples are plentiful. The fact that Vaclav Havel's primary occupation is that of playwright can be traced from the 1960s forward. Interestingly, the activities of civic Forum were centered in the Magic Lantern Theater. If one were to. carefully audit the verbal activity of the mass gatherings, Solidarity and Civic Forum songs would surely emerge in addition to the frequent singing of the national anthem of each country. "Living in the truth" and "individual responsibility" are examples of literary phrases that became political slogans perpetuated by the works of Havel and Konwicki. Milosz's emphasis on cultural history, language, and historical memory provided poignant esoteric symbols for two generations. Many important symbols overflow from the promulgation 106

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phase. These symbols include: flags, national heroes, and nonverbal ways of demonstrating support such as the candles in Wenceslas Square. In the case of Czechoslovakia, Havel himself became a powerful symbol. An example of the importance of in-group publications was illustrated through Solidarity's demand for their own official newspaper. According to Dr. Napierkowski, included within official newsletters, there would also be poetry, essays, etc. Polarization Polarization assumes that any individual who has not committed himself in one way or another to the agitation group is supportive of the establishment (Bowers & Ochs, 1971). In order to clarify the opposing positions of the agitators and the establishment, polarization consists of the exploitation of "flag issues" and "flag individuals." These are the issues and the individuals who are especially susceptible to the charges made against the establishment. Over the years in both Poland and Czechoslovakia, the "flag issues" related to the lack of sensitivity to individual rights by the communist regime. Significant "flag issues" in PolaQd centered on issues of the workers ultimately represented by the emergence of Solidarity. In Poland the labor issues were merged with 107

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intellectual, religious and political concerns (Napierkowski, personal communication April 21, 1992). In Czechoslovakia the initial concern for "flag issues" was centered in human rights issues. One example of such a basic issue would be an environment where a person could pursue a chosen career without governmental interference, i.e., a literary career, as witnessed by Vaclav Havel. Closely tied to this issue was another originally intellectual concept which Havel successfully made into a "flag issue" --the idea of "living in the truth." In both Poland and Czechoslovakia the flag individuals were the existing heads of the communist governments. The "we -they" mentality of this strategy is easily seen in the discussed works of each writer. It is the writer speaking out against the totalitarian system. Other obvious signs of the polarization seen in Poland would be the Solidarity led strikes and protests. In Czechoslovakia the polarization was seen in increasing degrees: Congress of Czech Writers calling for reform; Charter 77 insisting on human rights consideration; and ultimately, Civic Forum calling for the actual change of governments. Solidarity and Civic Forum's call to the streets for the citizens of Poland and czechoslovakia support Bowers and Ochs's contention that such tactics 108

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are aimed at a visible polarization of the society. "Action is the criterion of membership in an agitating group. Inactive members are counted as being with the establishment" (Bowers & Ochs, 1971, p. 28). Non-Violent Resistance According to Bowers and Ochs there are three components to the strategy of non-violent resistance. The first strategy of non-violence places the agitators in a position in which they are violating laws they consider unjust or destructive to human dignity (Bowers & Ochs, 1971). The imprisonment of Lech Walesa following the imposition of martial law in Poland in 1981 and the imprisonment of Vaclav Havel for his participation in the Charter 77 movement are examples of this aspect of nonviolent resistance. The use of the samizdat press also supports this strategy. The second component of the nonviolent resistance strategy is the assumption that the resistance is not meant to humiliate the opponent but rather awaken a sense of moral shame. The classic example of this strategy can be seen in the response to the student protest of November 17, 1989, in Czechoslovakia. Violence did not follow violence. The negative moral sense of the police clubbings was accentuated by the quiet candle lit demonstration of 109

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growing crowds of Czech citizens. The effective candle lit evenings in Prague also reinforced the third component of the non-violent resistance strategy. This component emphasizes the impersonal nature of the resistance. The resistance is directed against an evil force, the brutal student attack, rather than against the persons doing the evil. The quiet orderliness of the Civic Forum supporters was in direct contrast to the brutal police attack. The non-violent resistance can be traced all the way back to 1951 when Milosz emigrated from Poland because he would not compromise himself intellectually. The use of the samizdat presses by Milosz, Konwicki and Havel demonstrated their resistance to the system and their intellectual and political commitment to their writing and to the citizens of their countries. Havel's refusal to emigrate and to relinquish his opportunity for directly speaking the truth in his homeland in exchange for certain imprisonment exemplifies non-violent resistance. Bowers and Ochs reiterate the fact that non-violent resistance requires more than any of the other strategies the tactic of persistence. This tactic puts the establishment in a difficult predicament. A non-violent agitator does not pose an actual threat to the 110

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destruction of the establishment; therefore, the establishment cannot actually declare war on the .agitator. Yet, on the other hand, the establishment cannot ignore the agitator. It is imperative that the agitating group have the manpower to continue to be a persistent nuisance. This tactic was successfully implemented in both Poland and Czechoslovakia during the events of 1989. It was the size of the citizen crowds in both countries that the sympathy of the people rested with the agitators. According to Bowers and Ochs, the strategy of nonviolent resistance subsumes two principle tactics: physical presence, and physical/economic absence. The physical presence, as discussed in the preceding paragraph, creates what Dr. Martin Luther King called "creative tension" (Bowers & Ochs, 1971, p. 34). The results of this tension made history in 1989; the communist domination of Eastern Europe had ended. What is termed physical/economic absence refers to the power of the strike potential. Historically in Poland, Solidarity had effectively used strike techniques to gain citizen awareness. civic Forum, under the leadership of Vaclav Havel, also used the tactic of a national strike to push the agitation strategies toward escalation. 111

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Escalation The escalation strategy consists of a series of tactics, each of which is designed to escalate the tension in the establishment until finally the establishment representatives resort to violent suppression in a confrontation with the agitators (Bowers & Ochs, 1971). Included in this strategy are such tactics as emphasizing the numbers of people supporting the agitator's position. This tactic was very successfully employed in both Poland and czechoslovakia. A second tactic centers on the perception of threatened disruption. Included in this tactic could be real or threatened strikes or other forms of societal/economic disruption. The topics discussed in the Polish "Flying Universities" also threatened societal disruption. All three writers, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel, through their literature advocated disruption of the socialist system. It was a social system artificially imposed on their countries. The third component of the escalation strategy refers to the nonverbal offensive. This tactic was especially notable in Czechoslovakia. The spontaneous resurgence of the colors of the Czech flag was significant during those winter days of 1989. The nightly lighting of the candles in Wenceslas Square, and 112

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posters of Masaryk and Havel reinforced the inevitable confrontation that was to come. From the very beginning of the Russian socialist strong hold on Eastern Europe following World War II, the writers have seen within the communist system the seeds of its own destruction. Those seeds of destruction have attempted to sprout many times during the forty plus years of communist occupation of Poland and Czechoslovakia: the October Revolution in Poland, the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia, the intellectual dissent of Solidarity, the persistent focus on human rights waged by Vaclav Havel. Coupled with the power of the written word, these events prepared the way for the wave of peaceful revolutions during 1989. The swelling numbers in Wenceslas square in Prague during the last days of December might well serve as the visual image of the quiet escalation of determined people who had accepted their individual responsibility to "live in the truth." Revolution Revolution the final stage in the rhetorical strategies of Bowers and Ochs can be epitomized for all Eastern Europe in the swearing in of Vaclav Havel as President of Czechoslovakia on December 31, 1989. Once in place, the momentum of change is difficult to stop. 113

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For all of Eastern Europe, Vaclav Havel represents the triumph of what Milosz refers to as "historic destiny." A culture and all that comprises it cannot be smothered forever. It was the task of the writer to keep the cultural fires burning (Ash, 1989; Echikson, 1990; Liehm, 1968). As Vaclav Havel was sworn in as President of Czechoslovakia, Milosz and Konwicki must have rejoiced. The determined man of letters advocating individual responsibility and humanism replaced a regime of indifference and fear. 114

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CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION The selected writers for this study exemplify the "prime truth," as defined by David Craig in The Real Foundations: Literature and Social Change (1974). The "prime truth" is that "to be alive is to be embroiled in an unending continuum of cause and effect whose special pressure on the artist is to situate him in life so to reduce greatly the extent to which he can create his own sweet will" (Craig, 1974, p. 11). By words and example the starting point for change must be the human's conscience at work in the 'hidden sphere' of society and not to believe in its power is at least a matter of bad faith (Havel, 1991, p. xii). Using the Bowers and Ochs (1971) model of agitation and control, communication and soQial change theory can be applied to the role of writers in the Eastern European countries of Poland and Czechoslovakia. The writer in Eastern Europe spearheads the mobilization of the nation's conscience. "His (the writer's) awakening of the national will has left a lasting spark among the people to be rekindled during times of crisis by reviving the spirit, and guiding the conscience

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of the nation" (Kaplan, 1973, p. 218). The writer becomes social agitator. In Poland and Czechoslovakia the arts have served as a major channel for social communication which the writer has been able to successfully utilize in maintaining a sense of national unity during periods of acute national crisis and significant social change (Ash, 1989; Kaplan, 1973). This directed involvement of the writer as applied to the Bowers and Ochs model of social change was observed during the Revolution of 1989. In Eastern Europe, as exemplified by Poland and Czechoslovakia, the union of politics and literature is deeply rooted in tradition. The writer in these countries must combine the role of the artistic writer with the role of a critical journalistic observer of society (Kaplan, 1973; Napierkowski, personal communication, April 21, 1992). The two-pronged motivation of the writer in transitional societies, as proposed by Passin and as applied by Kaplan, is illustrated in the examples of the literature of each writer of focus. Often most blatant in the direct communication of messages of social change were the essays of Vaclav Havel. These essays written out of Havel's immediate experience of the world, are at once a chronicle of recent European history and also direct agents of history (Havel, 1991). Using the Bowers 116

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and Ochs (1971) model of social change it becomes apparent that the involvement of the selected writers in the social change process went beyond their written works. All three writers provided personal examples of challenge to the existing political system. Milosz's decision to leave Poland rather than compromise his artistic and philosophical beliefs posed a challenge to the system. Ewa Thompson (1989) in "The Writer in Exile: The Good Years" establishes that for some writers exile proved to be an enhancement. Instead of acting as a deterrent to finding an audience, it converted their national readership into a worldwide readership (Thompson, 1989). Milosz's involvement in the underground and the use of his poetry on Solidarity posters are two examples which attest to his continued involvement in the communication of social change within Poland. Konwicki's refusal to compromise his artistic writing in order to be published by the official publishers of the state system represented one aspect of his challenge to the system. Konwicki chose to risk the publication of his work with samizdat publishing houses which would not force him to compromise his comments on politics and society which were an integral part of his artistic message (Echikson, 1990). 117

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Havel represents the most intense and consistent writer to communicate social change within Czechoslovakia. His early refusal to accept the party's societal placement for him, chemical lab assistant, and his determination to pursue a career as a writer, place him in an immediate position of challenge to the system. Havel reflect the essence of Passin's concept of the dual role of artistic writer combined with political activist. Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel communicated many important contextual messages through their literature which promoted social change. It was through the writers and.their literature that the Eastern European countries were able to hold on to their historic past, their culture, and even their language (Ash, 1989; Echikson, 1990; Kaplan, 1973). The importance of the samizdat movement cannot be ignored. It was through the samizdat movement that Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel continued to find a channel for their messages even when no official channel was available (Echikson, 1990; Napierkowski, personal communication, April 21, 1992). The direct involvement of the writer in the communication of the social change process in Eastern Europe can be summarized by Frank Kaplan. As one of the prime actors in the area of cultural politics, the writer continually has had to struggle to persevere a balance between 118

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the forces of politics and literature which in the end had repeatedly caused him to be actively drawn into the center of national politics. (Kaplan, 1973, p. 217) Using the Bowers and Ochs (1971) model of agitation and control, this active involvement in the "center of national politics" has resulted in the role of the writer as an agitator in the communication of social change in Poland and Czechoslovakia. The fall of communism which began in Eastern Europe in 1989 is one of the most important events of social change during this century (Ash, 1990; Bowers, 1991). As citizens of this era, it is our responsibility to investigate and attempt to understand the significance of the events. Unfortunately, for years Eastern Europe for many of us was hardly a distinct region on the map of the world. our thoughts of the East were completely dominated by the Soviet Union. Eastern European scholar, Timothy Garton Ash suggests that the academic study of this region should now be more than just a footnote to sovietology. An understanding of the role of the writer and the importance of literature in the Eastern European countries will begin to open the door to understanding. Future studies could be spawned from this beginning. The ayailable literature offering insights into this part of the world appears to be somewhat limited; therefore, 119

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critical studies would provide a valuable addition to the existing knowledge base. Suggested future studies could involve many different focuses. An analysis of the reading audience in Eastern European countries would be helpful to the understanding of the communication processes. What variables exist within the audience which make them susceptible to the point of action, to the communication of social change as the writers? Herbert Passin's concept of the combined communication role of the writer (belles lettres and journalism) in the transitional society would provide a fertile ground for investigation. The examination of the importance of periodicals and newspapers to the communication of social change within Eastern Europe would be valuable. The role of telecommunications in the Revolution of 1989 should not be ignored. As the countries of Eastern Europe embark upon uncertain journeys, what is the continued role of the writer within these countries regarding the communication of social change? The link between cultural awareness and political change continues to provide opportunities for investigation. Historically, the close association of politics and writers in Eastern Europe has made it relatively easy for despots to transform the arts into a mere political tool, 120

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as evidence by the early years of communism (Kaplan, 1973). In an attempt to prevent the use of their literature as a "mere political tool," Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel committed themselves to a confrontation with the power structure of Soviet-style communism that kept them active in the political arena and provided them the opportunity for communicating social change. The harassment of the selected writers, forced emigration, refusal of publication, imprisonment, etc., increased their esteem among their countrymen (Ash, 1989; Echikson, 1990; Kaplan, 1973; Karpinski, 1987; Thompson, 1989). The basic concepts advocated by the writers --restoration of the cultural heritage, realism of existing circumstances, individual responsibility, and alienation within the socialist society --provided the base for their active involvement in the communication of social change. Like all writers, Milosz, Konwicki, and Havel reflect the unique societal conditions of their respective countries in Eastern Europe. The writer comes to consciousness amidst particular conditions that include the thing that the people of his age tend to do, the most powerful forces then felt to be acting in and on humanity, and the sorts of functions his art hasat that time. Living amongst all this, how could the writer shrug off his age and fail to make its particular scenes and concerns the dominant ones of his art. (Craig, 1974, p. 121

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12) Timothy Garton Ash argues that at the heart of the revolution of 1989 in Eastern Europe was the quest of deep-seated cultural awareness and language. Human beings cannot live a lie forever. Sooner or later they rebel in the name of simple dignity. In order to understand what it meant for ordinary people to stand in those vast crowds in the city squares of Central Europe, chanting their own spontaneous slogans, you have first to make the imaginative effort to understand what it feels like to pay this daily toll of public hypocrisy. As they stood and shouted together, these men and women were not merely healing divisions in their society; they were healing divisions in themselves. Everything that had to do with the word was of first importance to these crowds. The semantic occupation was as offensive to them as military occupation; cleaning up the linguistic environment was as vital as cleaning up the physical environment. The long queue every morning in Wenceslas Square, lining up patiently in the freezing fog for a newspaper called the Free Word, was one of the great symbolic pictures of 1989. {Ash, 1990, p. 138) At the heart of the revolution of 1989 was the question of language, the question of truth {Ash, 1990). Vaclav Havel's prepared acceptance speech for the Peace Prize of the German Booksellers Association, awarded to him July 25, 1989, reveals the importance of "words" in a totalitarian society. I should reflect here today on the mysterious link between words and peace, and in general on -the mysterious power of word in human history {Havel, 1991, p. 377) ... the incredible importance that unfettered word assume in totalitarian conditions the mysterious 122

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power of word to those countries where a few word can count for more than a whole trainload of dynamite somewhere else. (Havel, 1991, p. 380) The importance of "words" in the communication of social change within Eastern Europe is punctuated by Havel. Yes, I do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military divisions (where) the word 'Solidarity' was capable of shaking an entire power bloc. (Havel, 1991, p. 380) The model of social change as described by Bowers and Ochs (1971) in The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control can be applied to the words and actions of Czeslaw Milosz, Tadeusz Konwicki, and Va.clav Havel. Through their words and actions these writers have contributed to the communication of social change within Poland and Czechoslovakia. 123

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