HOME / Tags / Palestine

Große Zeiten Kleines Glück / Great Times Little Happiness

Not much is known about Vilém Flusser’s childhood years in Prague, where he lived with his family and attended the Deutsches Realgymnasium, a school in Zboroská street. One of his classmates and friends was a girl born in 1919. Eighty years later, she told her extraordinary life to Gerold Tietz who transformed it into the novel Große Zeiten Kleines Glück (Great Times Little Happiness). Flusser who is called Jakob is described as a very smart boy at school – who could even be a little intimidating to his classmates every now and then. He used to sit in the first row – and when Rita, the protagonist of the story, had to do a presentation in front of the class, she always felt particularly observed and critically challenged by his vigilant presence. The different excerpts published here allow a rough insight into the story line and thus also into a part of Vilém Flusser’s childhood.

Große Zeiten (PDF 80.75 KB)
Great Times (PDF 141.5 KB)

Désillusion: Vilém Flusser et le conflit israélo-palestinien / Disillusion: Vilém Flusser and the the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

This article presents ten essays written by Vilém Flusser between 1967 and 1991 on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Some of these essays were not published. Although Flusser clearly asserts his Judaism and his pride in being a Jew, he is at the same time very critical of Zionism and the State of Israel. First, he thinks that the very existence of a Jewish national state is in contradiction with the ideal of Judaism―namely, to dedicate oneself to others―and he assumes therefore that Zionism, as a national state-building ideology and apparatus, can only fail. He also criticizes the relation between Israel and the Arab peoples, analyzing it as colonial domination and considering that Israel has failed to be the beacon of liberation and struggle against Western domination that it could and should have been. He hopes that Jews and Arabs (a formula he prefers to Israelis and Palestinians, as less grounded in territories) can overcome the conflict, draw closer and construct a new, non-Zionist model together, free of Western influences. Although this might sound utopian, Flusser trusts the Jews’ ability to contribute to such a model. These essays, especially the one entitled Disillusionment, written in Israel during his first trip in 1980, have a rather sad, bitter and disenchanted flavor. Flusser made his second and last trip to Israel in September 1991, two months before his death.

Désillusion (PDF 346.85 KB)
Disillusion (PDF 353.51 KB)