The Good Soldier Švejk and His Fortunes in the World War

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Crowell, 1974 - Fiction - 752 pages
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4 Svejk Thrown out of the Lunatic Asylum
5 Svejk at the Police Station in Salmova Street
Svejk Home Again after having Broken through the Vicious Circle

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About the author (1974)

Even though Jaroslav Hasek wrote a large number of short stories, his fame rests mainly on his satirical novel The Good Soldier Schweik (1920--23), in which he created the fat and cowardly dog-catcher-gone-to-war who personified Czech bitterness toward Austria in World War I. The humorous complications in which Schweik becomes involved derive from Hasek's own experience; his work as a journalist was interrupted by war and, like Schweik, he became a soldier. Eventually, he was taken prisoner by the Russians. Later he returned to Prague as a communist to work as a free-lance writer. At his death he had completed only four "Schweik" novels of a projected six. Martin Esslin has said, "Schweik is more than a mere character; he represents a basic human attitude. Schweik defeats the powers that be, the whole universe in its absurdity, not by opposing but by complying with them. . . In the end the stupidity of the authorities, the idiocy of the law are ruthlessly exposed." The character of Schweik made a tremendous impression on Bertolt Brecht, who transformed his name to use him afresh in the play Schweyk in the Second World War.

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