Pavel Kohout

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Pavel Kohout
2008.03.12. Pavel Kohout by Kubik 01.JPG
Pavel Kohout in 2008
Born (1928-07-20) 20 July 1928 (age 90)
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Occupation Writer
Nationality Czech
Notable awards Austrian State Prize for European Literature

Pavel Kohout (born 20 July 1928) is a Czech and Austrian novelist, playwright, and poet. He was a member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, a Prague Spring exponent and dissident in the 1970s until he was expelled to Austria. He was a founding member of the Charter 77 movement.

Because he and other dissident theater workers had been banned from working in the official theater, he formed the company Living-Room Theater with the actors Pavel Landovský, Vlasta Chramostová, Vlastimil Třešňák, and his daughter, Tereza Boučková to covertly perform an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth in living rooms in Prague. Czech-born UK playwright Tom Stoppard's Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth is inspired by these events.[1]

His most notable play is the drama Poor Murderer, which opened on Broadway in Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 1976. It is based on the short story "Thought" by Leonid Andreyev.[2]

His novels include White Book (an absurdist picture of life under Communism), I Am Snowing (a post-Communism story about the opening of the Communist-era secret police informer files, the effect of that opening on the informers and their victims, and thus about the corrosive effect of the Communist regime), The Widow Killer (a detective story set in World War II Nazi-occupied Prague), and The Hangwoman (a black-humor story about executioners).

Decorations and awards[edit]


  1. ^ Stoppard, Tom (1996), "Introduction", Plays One, London: Faber and Faber, pp. 141–43 
  2. ^ "Poor Murderer". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 11 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 1176. Retrieved 21 January 2013.