The eponymous hero of The Good Soldier Svejk—the book for which the Czech writer Jaroslav Hasek will forever be remembered—has virtually come to define, since his creation in the aftermath of World War I, the spirit of comic endurance necessary to withstand the manglings of a modern-day bureaucratic war machine.
Shrewd, affable, possessed of an unerring talent for finding himself in (and extricating himself from) the most fitfully chaotic and absurd situations, Svejk represents, in his instinct for survival, all those human values which stand opposed to the utter futility of warfare.
With an introduction from, and translated by, Cecil Parrott.
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