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6 Dec 2017 19:00

Ivan Magor Jirous: My Itinerary Has Been Monotonous for Quite a While

BOOK LAUNCH – READING – CONCERT. Imprisoned poet, art historian, band manager of the Plastic People of the Universe, and free-spirit under all circumstances, Ivan Martin Jirous (1944-2011) was together with Václav Havel one of the key actors of the Czech cultural dissent, representing its rawer, underground part. Throughout his stormy life he wrote hundreds of poems often revealing the tender and even pious side of his wild personality.

Sensitively translated by Marek Tomin and illustrated by Lucie Ferliková, My Itinerary Has Been Monotonous for Quite a While is the first collection of his work published in English. It presents a selection of poems written during his sentence in Valdice in the 1980s, later published in Czech as the award-winning Magor´s Swan Songs, and some poems and short stories written for his daughters Františka and Marta.

The book launch will be introduced by translator Marek Tomin and Czech literary critic Martin Machovec. The evening will also present a concert accompanied by a screening of some of Jan Ságl’s 8mm films documenting the concerts, happenings, author’s readings and daily events of the semi-illegal world in Czechoslovakia behind the Iron Curtain, a world that was possible largely thanks to Magor’s vision, courage and insanity.

Concert: Tribute to Magor
Starts 8 pm, The Horse Hospital
The book launch is followed by a special concert featuring members of the renowned Prague Agon Orchestra - Ivan Acher (video) and Ivan Bierhanzl (bass) (formerly of DG 307 and The Plastic People of the Universe) - and their equally renowned UK guests Chris Cutler (drums), Walter Fabeck (keyboards), Tim Hodgkinson (clarinet), James Poke (flute) and James Woodrow (guitar).

“Jirous was unique, a historian, a poet, a rock-and-roll magus, a brave spirit whose life testified that culture is politics.” Tom Stoppard

My Itinerary Has B
een Monotonous for Quite a While is published by Divus London.

Initiated and supported by the Czech Centre London.

In partnership with Jantar Publishing.


Beneath the hawthorn tree they took me away

As you were disappearing through the archway

Františka waved for the last time by the door

Now it’s just God and I, alone once more


At least, Lord, tell me this part of the story

Am I already in purgatory?

Ivan Martin Jirous, 1985


Admission: £5 on the door
tel. 020 7833 3644 

Part of the 21st Made in Prague Festival
8 November - 6 December 2017

Ivan Martin Jirous with The Plastic People of the Universe




Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD


6 Dec 2017 19:00


Czech Centre

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