[[ read online pdf ]] The Good Soldier SvejkAuthor Jaroslav Hašek – Hometrainer-tests.de

The inspiration for such works as Joseph Heller s Catch 22, Jaroslav Ha ek s black satire The Good Soldier vejk is translated with an introduction by Cecil Parrott in Penguin Classics.Good natured and garrulous, vejk 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 vejk 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 vejk 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 Ha ek s turbulent life as an anarchist, communist and vagranty, and the Everyman character of vejk This edition also includes a guide to Czech names, maps and original illustrations by Josef Ladas.Jaroslav Ha ek 1883 1923 Besides this book, the writer wrotethan 2,000 short works, short stories, glosses, sketches, mostly under various pen names.If you enjoyed The Good Soldier vejk, you might like Mikhail Bulgakov s The Master and Margarita, also available in Penguin Classics Brilliant perhaps the funniest novel ever written George Monbiot Ha ek was a comic genius Sunday Times Ha ek was a humorist of the highest calibre.A later age will perhaps put him on a level with Cervantes and Rabelais Max Brod

5 thoughts on “The Good Soldier Svejk

  1. H.S.A. H.S.A. says:

    I m writing this review after finishing Book Two of The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk in the World War.In this review, I m going to include my thoughts on the differing Cecil Parrot and Zenny Sadlon translations, as I feel which translation you read will give you a different experience with the titular character, and the story in general In short, the Sadlon translation gives the reader a novel with extraordinarily depth and layers than the Parrot translation The Good Soldier Svejk is little known here in America, but apparently is a folk institution in Central and Eastern Europe, and is especially important to the people of the Czech Republic, the land of its inception On the surface, it s a comedic and satiric take on World War One from the Czech perspective In the Parrot edition, there are many moments of slapstick and levity Conscripted Private Svejk is challenged with navigating the Czech bureaucracy, and is beset by one amusing situation after another One reviewer calls him a, European Forrest Gump.A deeper look, with context reveals something else entirely While the slapstick and levity remain, the book becomes caustic It s not only the tale of a man beset by the absurdity of military bureaucracy, it becomes a story about a man who is a symbol for a subjugated country that exists within a larger dystopian governmental structure The eponymous subject of the book, Svejk, is a man caught in the grinding gears of a police state, doing his best to survive not only the government s crushing gears, but the war that it s feeding him into Additionally, the book is not solely about Svejk He is often a medium used to describe the state, culture and nature of Austro Hungarian Czechia Svejk is not Forrest Gump Gump was a symbol of America s loss of innocence in the 1960 s and his author s attempt to grapple with the change in American culture into the 1980 s Gump is, in today s parlance, on the spectrum and his responses to the situations he s thrust into, are viewed in awe that someone with those intellectual challenges can rise to the occasion and succeed.Svejk, is a different animal altogether, and this where the importance of what translation you read, comes into play.When reading the Parrot edition, readers often question, Is this guy an idiot, or is he extremely clever Certainly there s room for a lot of interpretation here In the Sadlon translation, there is no mystery, Svejk is doing what it takes to survive, and that perception is possible through the clarity of the translation.To what do we owe this crystal clear focus and lack of confusion In my opinion, it s very simple Sadlon is a native Czech speaker, and Sir Cecil Parrot wasn t.I don t want to bash Parrot here He served as a diplomat to the Czech people, and obviously had a great deal of love for the country and the culture Translating this sprawling book must ve been quite an undertaking, so we can t fault his earnestness in wanting to bring this wonderful story to the English speaking world However, having read 60% percent of his translation, and the same content in the Sadlon translation, I can say that Parrot s vernacular obscures the subtleties and nuances that make a huge difference in what Hasek was communicating to the reader I can t state this enough, the Sadlon edition is a much different book that unmasks a significantly intricate picture of World War One era Czechia.I know some will consider attacking a Penguin Classics edition as sacrilege Parrot s publisher , but the differences exist Sadlon s translation is not 100% polished but the problems I had with a couple of the words he used are minor and inconsequential Sadlon was criticized for using the vernacular of modern American English, but to that I say, so what Is it better to use far outdated British vernacular that doesn t adequately communicate the story Is Svejk not supposed to be the story of an Everyman for every man Should the story not be accessible to today s English language readers even if they re British If Hasek were the equivalent with a florid writer, I might take issue But in both the Parrot and Sadlon translations, the story is described in plain, concise diction and delivery There is no grandiloquent exposition that would require the literary strengths of a Melville or Faulkner, and would require a poetic translator If you are interested in a spirited and expertly argued debate about the translation, google Michelle Wood s review of Sadlon s edition in Jacket Magazine Jacket2 org , and then make sure you read Sadlon s robust rebuttal which is linked at the top of Wood s review.As I stand, at halfway through the four books of the Sadlon edition of Svejk s story, what I ve read is an amusing, shocking and poignant snapshot of a country at war and on the precipice of its own independence It s a compelling story, not only for following the adventures of Svejk and his beaming countenance, but I became invested enough, that I want to see how this turns out for him and his country Apologies to everyone who hates the name, Czechia

  2. Graven Images Graven Images says:

    Had to go to for this couldn t find it in a bookstore Classic Eastern European dry wit and ironic fatalism the perfect attitude for an unenthusiastic soldier marching off to a war he doesn t understand, doesn t care to be involved in, and has nothing to gain by participating except maybe a marble headstone with his name on it, if even that If you appreciate Eastern European dark humor in the vein of Kundera, Wolfe, Gogol, or Bulgakov, you ll love this work The same can be said for Kurt Vonnegut s Slaughterhouse Five, Joseph Heller s Catch 22, or Mark Twain s hilarious short story A History of a Campaign that Failed appreciate the ironic, dark humor of these works, get The Good Soldier Svejk Highly recommended by this ex professor of English and lover of sarcastic, raucous, and irreverent literature.

  3. denis denis says:

    It s hard to pin a quality rating on a translation, but the writing here is excellent, regardless of whether it s by Hasek or the translator from Czech.This is the only work I know of that finds humor in WW I The hero, Svejk, is as dumb as a fox, similar to Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers He instinctively runs circles around the officers and civilian officials who keep trying to get him to his regiment, where they expect he will be killed immediately Along the way Sveijk gums up all the grandiose plans of his superiors Read this for the laughs, not for historical facts It helps to know a little about the history of the Austro Hungarian Empire Some experience as an enlisted man in the US Army would also help set the stage for understanding where Sveijk is coming from.

  4. Norman S. Nuzzi Norman S. Nuzzi says:

    Svejk is the Sad Sack of the Austrian Hungarian Army It is a very funny book and his oblivious antics would drive any normal person insane, let alone any authoritarian figure in a military environment I keep several copies on hand, paperback naturally, and when I run into friends, especially who are in the military, who have not read it I provide them a copy It is definitely worth the read and read again.

  5. Grand Junction Joe Grand Junction Joe says:

    A must read, once perhaps, for any serious military historian or historian of early 20th Century Europe Hasek s writing style is varied, depending on circumstances and sobriety , which can make the book a challenge to read sometimes but that s part of the story too At times absurdly hilarious and often scandalous in its treatment of the royalty, this book was banned throughout much of Europe in the 1930s While not as powerfully simple as All Quiet on the Western Front, this book carries a strong message about the waste and folly of military campaigns of the day I enjoyed reading this book and I passed it along to another historian because, as good as it was, I doubted I d reread it anytime soon.