Picture of a black hole

Strathclyde Open Access research that creates ripples...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by Strathclyde physicists involved in observing gravitational waves and black hole mergers as part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) - but also other internationally significant research from the Department of Physics. Discover why Strathclyde's physics research is making ripples...

Strathprints also exposes world leading research from the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

The Greengrocer and his TV: the Culture of Communism after the 1968 Prague Spring, by Paulina Bren

Heimann, Mary (2011) The Greengrocer and his TV: the Culture of Communism after the 1968 Prague Spring, by Paulina Bren. [Review]

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

Abstract

Paulina Bren has produced a witty and thought-provoking analysis of Czechoslovak culture during ‘Normalisation’, the years which followed the forced ending to the 1968 Prague Spring. The ‘TV’ in the title is Communist-controlled Czechoslovak state television of the 1970s and 1980s. The ‘greengrocer’ is the compliant Czechoslovak Everyman (as described in Václav Havel's essay ‘The Power of the Powerless’) who unthinkingly places the slogan ‘Workers of the World Unite’ in his shop window, thereby subtly increasing the pressure on his fellow-citizens similarly to conform to the norms of the ‘post-totalitarian’ regime under which they live. As in the story of the Emperor's new clothes, the implication in Havel's essay, which was written in 1978, is that the entire edifice of Communist power would crumble the moment that ordinary people chose to stop colluding with the regime's official lies and opted instead to ‘live in truth’. Bren's fresh look at Czechoslovakia in the 1970s helps to explain why they might not have wanted to do so.