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(06/30/2008) The Good Soldier Schweik by Jaroslav Hasek. Middlesex. 1965. Penguin Books. Illustrated by Joseph Lada. Translated from the Czech by Paul Selver. keywords: Literature Translated Czech Eastern Europe. 471 pages.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Poor Schweik. How simple-minded he is. Possibly even a lunatic. For how else could. he fail to recognize the matchless wisdom of his sergeant, his lieutenant, his colonel, and even his king, who all agree it is his noble duty to serve as a solid target for an enemy bullet. Can the author be so bold as to suggest that this miserable nobody, this disgraceful malingerer, this grain of sand in the great military machine, is the true hero of our times?. In all of the literature of war there is no more deadly weapon than Schweik's blank gaze as he listens to a vital order, then marches resolutely away in the wrong direction. For in Schweik's vision of the world -a world in which it is good to live and bad to die- lies a force that can topple empires and reduce the inspiring spectacle of war to bloody absurdity. The brilliant satire of this masterpiece does more than delight the reader; it casts the healing light of sanity upon the festering wounds of this war-torn century. 'The reader is reminded of Swift, Gogol, Dickens. Hasek makes our present-day beatniks, bohemians, and would-be satirists seem very small beer by comparison.' -LONDON TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT.

 

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