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Jaroslav Hašek

Biography

Jaroslav Hašek was born in 1883 in Prague. His father was a school teacher who died from drink when Hašek was thirteen. He was educated at a commercial school before becoming a bank clerk but was soon fired from that job, not least because of his drinking. At about his time, his first story was published in a Prague newspaper. He soon became involved in Prague anarchist circles, eventually editing their magazine, and getting himself arrested on a regular basis. He got married but that was an equally unsuccessful venture. He tried to commit suicide by throwing himself off a bridge but was prevented from doing so, but did spend some time in a mental hospital. In 1915 he was called up to the Austrian Army. He won promotion and a medal but was made a prisoner of war. After joining the Czech Legion he gave up drink and became a Bolshevik and became a political commissar in the Russian Fifth Army. He returned to Prague in 1920 with a new wife, without having bothered to divorce the first one.

Back in Prague, he soon resumed his drinking habits. However, he put his military experiences to good use, producing the four volume Osudy Dobrého Vojáka švejka Za Svetové Války (The Good Soldier Schweik), a comic and satirical masterpiece and one of the best novels to come out of World War 1. Hašek planned to write further volumes but he died in 1923 before doing so. Schweik/Svejk had already appeared in two previous works but in this work Hašek makes him a cunning idiot, a bully and amoral and, in doing so, shows the inhumanity of war in a manner rarely equalled.

Books about Jaroslav Hašek

Cecil Parrott: The Bad Bohemian: the Life of Jaroslav Hasek, Creator of The Good Soldier Svejk

Other links

Jaroslav Hašek
The Party of Moderate Progress Within the Bounds Of the Law (about the imaginary political party created by Hašek and a few friends in 1911)

Bibliography

1903 Májové Výkriky (Shouts in May)
1912 Kdyz Clovek Spadne V Tatrách
1911 Dobrý Voják švejk A Jiné Podivné Historky
1917 Dobry voják Svejk v zajeti
1920 Tri Muzi Se Zralokem
1921-23 Osudy Dobrého Vojáka švejka Za Svetové Války (The Good Soldier Schweik; The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War; The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk During the World War)
1925 Stastný domov a jiné humoresky
1925 Za války i za sovetu v Rusku
1926 Dva tucty povídek
1932 Malá zoologická zahrada; povídky o zvírátkách známých i nove objevených
1950 Panoptikum mest’aku, byrokratu a jiných zkamenelin
1954 Aféra s kreckem a jiné povídky
1955 Crty, povídky a humoresky z cest
1955 Satiry a humoresky
1958 Fialový hrom
1958 Loupezný vrah pred soudem
1960 O detech a zvírátkách
1961 Dedictvi po panu Safránkovi
1961 The Tourist Guide : Twenty-Six Stories
1962 Zrádce národa v Chotebori
1963 Pepícek Nový, a jiné povídky
1963 Politické a sociální: dejiny strany mírného pokroku v mezích zákona
1964 Galerie karikatur
1966 Velitelem mesta Bugulmy
1968 Dekameron humoru a satiry
1968 Moje zpoved
1972 Májové výkriky : básne a prózy
1974 Idylky z pekla
1978 Malomestský pitaval
1979 Lidozroutská historie: parodie, morytáty a banality : druhý dekameron
1981 The Red Commissar: Including Further Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk and Other Stories
1983 Vesele o novinách a novinárích
1984 Little Stories by a Great Master
1985 Tajemství mého pobytu v Rusku
1988 Povídky
1991 The Bachura Scandal and Other Stories and Sketches