The Good Soldier SvejkThe Good Soldier Svejk
, and with extended titles) is a world-famous unfinished novel
written by Czech humorist Jaroslav Hašek
in the early 1920s.
The original Czech
title of the work is Osudy dobrého vojáka Švejka za světové války
Fritz Muliar as Schwejk (1972)
The novel tells a story of the Czech soldier Švejk, who undermines the Austrian
army's war effort with his sloppiness and exploits every possible situation for his own good.
The novel was never finished, because Hašek died in 1923 right in the middle of his work.
"Švejkovat", "to švejk" has since become a common Czech word. "Švejking" is the method for surviving "švejkárna", which is a situation or institution of systemic absurdity requiring the employment of "švejking"
for one to survive and remain untouched by it.
At least three English-language translations of Švejk have been published:
The translations are generally perceived as evolving from good to better.
- The Good Soldier Schweik, tr. Paul Selver, 1930.
- The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War, tr. Cecil Parrott, 1973.
- The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk During the World War, tr. Zdenek "Zenny" Sadlon and Emmett Joyce, 2000.
- A 13 part TV series in German, Die Abenteuer des braven Soldaten Schwejk, directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner, was made and broadcast by the Austrian state TV (ORF) in 1972. The title role was played by Fritz Muliar.