Hašek knew all about the bizarre nature of life in pre & post-war Czechoslovakia. The Good Soldier Švejk was a provocative, mickey-taking book & it was removed from Czechoslovak army libraries in 1925. The Polish translation was confiscated in 1928 & the novel was also suppressed in Bulgaria. The German translation was burned on Nazi bonfires in 1933.

Good Soldier

The inspiration for such works as Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Jaroslav Hasek’s black satire The Good Soldier Svejk is translated with an introduction by Cecil Parrott in Penguin Classics. Good-natured and garrulous, Svejk becomes the Austro-Hungarian army’s most loyal Czech soldier when he is called up on the outbreak of the First World War – although his bumbling attempts to get to the front serve only to prevent him from reaching it. Playing cards, getting drunk and becoming a general nuisance, the resourceful Svejk uses all his natural cunning and genial subterfuge to deal with the doctors, police, clergy and officers who chivvy him towards battle.

The story of a ‘little man’ caught in a vast bureaucratic machine, The Good Soldier Svejk combines dazzling wordplay and piercing satire to create a hilariously subversive depiction of the futility of war. Cecil Parrott’s vibrant, unabridged and unbowdlerized translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing Hasek’s turbulent life as an anarchist, communist and vagranty, and the Everyman character of Svejk. This edition also includes a guide to Czech names, maps and original illustrations by Josef Ladas.

Available in store & online.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s