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Ivan M. Jirous

Ivan M. Jirous (1944 – 2011) was a Czech dissident, critic, essayist, and poet. Along with Václav Havel, Ivan “Magor” Jirous was one of the most important dissident figures in Communist Czechoslovakia, but where Havel represented the intellectuals and writers, Jirous as artistic director of The Plastic People of the Universe, represented the underground rock scene. The alliance Havel and Jirous formed in 1976 would soon lead to Charter 77, when Jirous and members of The Plastic People were arrested. Jirous would go on to serve five different prison sentences during communism. For the book of poetry he wrote in prison, Magor’s Swan Songs, Jirous was awarded the Tom Stoppard Prize in 1985.


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