The Good Soldier Švejk – Jaroslav Hašek – 1923 – 58 – Czech

Title: The Good Soldier Švejk

Author: Jaroslav Hašek

Original language: Czech

Translation(s): 58 languages

Context: The Good Soldier Švejk (1921) is a translated novel by anarchist and Czech writer, Jaroslav Hašek. Piercing sarcasm and remarkable wordplay is combined while presenting a hilariously subversive picture about the vanity of battle.

Synopsis: When Švejk is summoned on the outbreak of World War I, he becomes one of the most verbose and benevolent soldiers. He makes teetering attempts to reach the front serve only to find that he is intercepted from reaching it. While tackling the officers, the clergy and police, all who goad him towards war, Švejk makes use of all his genial trickery and cunning. This hapless man is caught in a huge bureaucratic machine.

In 1921-1923 the novel has been published four volumes. The author Hasek had plans to continue the novel to six volumes however just before completion of the fourth novel, he passed away.

The pacifist and antimilitary point of view about the post-World War I Europe have been reflected in the novel. Classified as nevertheless and moronic, the main character of the novel is drafted into the service of Austria, with the emergence of World War I. The guileless, naïve, invariably incompetent and instinctively honest Schweik finds himself colliding constantly with the dehumanized and clumsy bureaucracy of the military. The author’s derision of authority and conspiring natures of the senior military officers is presented in the novel The Good Soldier Švejk.

Other works by the Author:

2004 – The Bachura Scandal and Other Stories and Sketches (Paperback)

2011 – The Red Commissar Including Further Adventures Of The Good Soldier Svejk And Other Stories (Paperback)

2013 – Behind the Lines: Bugulma and Other Stories

2017 – The Secret History of My Sojourn in Russia

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