“The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.” ~ Václav Havel
Although the original Charter 77 was confiscated when Václav Havel along with others attempted to deliver it to the communist Czechoslovak government, copies continued to circulate through samizdat; a process through which individuals reproduced censored publications by hand for distribution. Havel underwent constant government surveillance and his activities led to his arrest in 1979, and imprisonment for several years, during which he wrote his views on life and politics to his first wife (later published as Letters to Olga). While in prison, his previously written essay The Power of the Powerless, about the nature of the communist regime and life within it as “living within a lie,” became widely distributed through samizdat in Czechoslovakia as well as neighboring communist countries. During his years in opposition to the government, Havel communicated with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which aired his works to the public. He credits the broadcasts for also allowing his presence to be made known while he was in prison, keeping him from serving longer sentences and being forgotten as well as for helping to end the Cold War.