Švejk has been a faithful companion the past couple of months and I’m a little sad to shelve him (although maybe not for long since a family member seems interested in reading it). Despite its unevenness, I really enjoyed the book. To simply say this is an anti-war novel misses the target of Hašek’s satire which is bureaucracy of any form whether it is military, governmental, religious or judicial in nature. A story addressing the mind-numbing and soul-destroying control exerted by others who allegedly know what’s best for us resonates just as much today as it did for Hašek almost a century ago. Absurdity has no limits, temporal or geographic, and if you can’t be like Švejk and remain unfazed as it washes over you at least you can laugh about it with this book.
Online resources for Jaroslav Hašek and The Good Soldier Švejk
The Good Soldier Švejk discussions
Book One: “Behind the Lines”
Book Two: “At the Front”
Books Three and Four: “The Glorious Licking” and “The Glorious Licking Continued”
The Good Soldier Schweik (1956 movie)
The Good Soldier Schweik 2 – Beg to Report, Sir (1957/8 movie)