Lit rec #147: Gustáv Husák, the General Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party who replaced Prague Spring reformer Alexander Dubček in 1968, told the people in the late Seventies to “stop Svejking!”. In the book, Švejk always had a reason for his strange mishaps, such as joining the enemy by mistake. The incompetent soldier undermines the authority of the Austrian monarchy through his feigned stupidity. “Great times call for great men,” was Hašek’s ironic comment about Švejk. (1915).

Heller once said he could not have written Catch-22 w/o first reading Jaroslav Hašek’s unfinished WWI satire. THE GOOD SOLDIER SVEJK.



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