Last month, Town Hall Seattle ran a program called ‘Three Lives,’ originally touted as eulogies of three public figures — Christopher Hitchens, Kim Jong-Il, and Vaclav Havel — linked by the sole fact that they’d happened to die within four days of each other in December. I was asked to speak about Hitchens. “No way,” I said. “Not unless you’re ready for an anti-eulogy.”
Here’s the video, in which I start at about the 4.45 time mark, running to 23.10.
But if you want to see a really great presentation, go back to the video and start at the 57.35 mark, where ACT Theatre artistic director Kurt Beattie and actors Bob Wright and Tom Carrato deliver a stunning tribute to Vaclav Havel, inspiring me to go out and buy a copy of ‘Disturbing the Peace’ the next day, when I also read this moving assessment by his long-time translator, Paul Wilson. I’m only sorry Havel had to die for me to pay closer attention. But then that’s kind of Wilson’s point.