The Good Soldier Švejk, written in the aftermath of World War I by Czech humorist Jaroslav Hašek (1883–1923), stands as the classic satiric portrait of a little man waging war against authority.
The unassuming and affable Švejk, having been called to serve in the Austro-Hungarian army at the start of the Great War, shrewdly plays the bumbling fool and makes a genial nuisance of himself, managing to avoid ever reaching the front while appearing loyally determined to do so. Possessed of an unerring talent for finding himself in (and extricating himself from) the most chaotic and absurd situations, Švejk represents, in his instinct for survival, all those human values that stand opposed to the utter futility of warfare. Hašek’s novel, inspired by the author’s own wartime escapades, has entertained readers in more than fifty languages for nearly a century and has come to define the spirit of comic endurance necessary to withstand the manglings of a modern-day bureaucratic war machine.
This hardcover edition, translated and introduced by Cecil Parrott, is lavishly illustrated with 156 drawings by Hašek’s friend and colleague, the Czech cartoonist Josef Lada, and includes maps, a guide to pronouncing Czech names, a bibliography, and a chronology of the author’s life and times.
Jaroslav Hašek (1883-1923) wrote more than 2,000 short works, short stories, glosses, sketches, mostly under various pen-names. A prankster and stalwart of innumerable taverns scattered across Bohemia, Hašek was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army during the First World War and… More about Jaroslav Hasek