Wednesday, April 18, 2012

While we're way off the wagon...

I have been doing rather well on limiting my purchase of books, but another pre-order just went in...

From The University of Chicago Press (distributed for Karolinum Press, Charles University):

Behind the Lines: Bugulma and Other Tales by Jaroslav Hašek
Jaroslav Hašek is a Czech writer most famous for his wickedly funny, widely read yet incomplete novel The Good Soldier Schweik, a series of absurdist vignettes about a recalcitrant WWI soldier. Hašek—in spite of a life of buffoonery and debauchery—was remarkably prolific. He wrote hundreds of short stories that all display both his extraordinary gift for satire and his profound distrust of authority. Here, in a new English translation, is a series of short stories based on Hašek’s experiences as a Red Commissar in the Russian Civil War and his return to Czechoslovakia.

First published in the Prague Tribune, these nine stories are considered to be some of his best, and they provide delightful entertainment as well as important background and insight into The Good Soldier Schweik. This collection by a writer some call the Bolshevik Mark Twain, is much more than a tool for understanding Hašek’s better known novel; it is a significant work in its own right. Behind the Lines focuses on the Russian town of Bugulma, and takes aim, with mordant wit, at the absurdities of a revolution. A hidden gem remarkable for its modern, ribald sense of humor, Behind the Lines is an enjoyable, fast-paced anthology of great literary and historical value.

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