Jan Patočka (English version)

PhDr. Jan Vít (Archiv Jana Patočky, Filosofický ústav)

Forty years ago, when Jan Patočka was spokesperson for Charter 77, on the day he died the loyal students of his university lectures and unofficial home seminars removed the philosopher’s writings from his apartment to ensure they would not fall irrevocably into the hands of the secret police. That day the Jan Patočka Archive symbolically came into existence. In subsequent years, the secret legacy was gradually transcribed, the frequently almost illegible author’s sketches deciphered, classified, organised into sets and gradually published in samizdat, in twenty-seven thematic volumes. The whole archival corpus, concentrated into the years 1977–1989, with accompanying editorial and academic activities, became the basis of today’s Jan Patočka Archive, deposited in the Institute of Philosophy of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences on 1 January 1990 and operating up until the present day.