The Good Soldier Švejk: A Fool Against the System

A R T L▼R K

 “When Švejk subsequently described life in the lunatic asylum, he did so in exceptionally eulogistic terms: ‘I really don’t know why those loonies get so angry when they’re kept there. You can crawl naked on the floor, howl like a jackal, rage and bite. If anyone did this anywhere on the promenade people would be astonished, but there it’s the most common or garden thing to do. There’s a freedom there which not even Socialists have ever dreamed of.’” (Jaroslav Hašek, The Good Soldier Švejk)

On the 3rd of January 1923, Jaroslav Hašek, aged only 39, died of heart failure in Lipnice nad Sázavou, Czechoslovakia. The death of this bohemian Czech writer – controversial in his life as much as in his writing – came way too early and left an undeniable void in Czech literature. In fact, at the time of his passing, Hašek was about…

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