Ivan Vyskočil

Ivan Vyskočil (born 1929) wrote most of his innovative short stories during the 1960s. He was one of the first writers to develop the poetics of the absurd (also called "Prague irony"), which fed on grotesque visions of the world and adapted Gogol's idea of laugher through tears to the new, "modern" condition of being, as seen in the works by Kafka, Hašek. He was among the circle of authors that included Václav Havel who began to develop his own version of theater of the absurd between the late 1950s and early 1960s. Vyskočil's world of the absurd is, however, more smiling, kind, and lighthearted than Havel's. It focuses on the use (and abuse) of language. He selects an ordinary event or phrase from the "real life" of the everyday and accepts its own "logic" which, when developed, exposes absurd consequences.