Newest English Translation of Czech Novel GOOD SOLDIER SVEJK

An illustration by Josef Lada showing Svejk reporting for induction into the Austro-Hungarian army despite claims of rheumatism.

An illustration by Josef Lada showing Svejk reporting for induction into the Austro-Hungarian army despite claims of rheumatism.

Jaroslav Hasek’s classic satirical novel THE FATEFUL ADVENTURES OF THE GOOD SOLDIER SVEJK has been translated over the years into some 60 languages.  The newest English translation of the novel’s four volumes by Americans Zenny Sadlon and Emmett Joyce and is currently available in print.

Hasek completed three of an anticipated six volumes of the novel before his death in 1923.  The unfinished draft of the fourth was finished by Czech journalist Karel Vanek.  THE FATEFUL ADVENTURES OF THE GOOD SOLDIER SVEJK is a work of extreme satire which follows the fortunes of Josef Svejk, a World War 1 Czech soldier who feigns, or possibly feigns – the decision is up to the reader- imbecility to outwit the Austro-Hungarian authorities, ultimately exposing the hypocrisy and the futility of war.

From the publisher:

“If you enjoyed Heller’s Catch-22, you’ll enjoy the Good Soldier Svejk. But Svejk is a far more subtle and complex and interesting character than Yossarian. Here we have a unique and comic form of rebellion. Here we have a character whose unassuming behavior repeatedly shows up the stupidity of the people and the system that have labeled him as stupid. Here we have an ordinary man-of-the-street repeatedly tripping up officers and government officials, making a mockery of them, while seeming to maintain a childlike, almost holy innocence. He’s a confidence man posing as a holy fool. His is the wisdom of the streets, the wisdom of the downtrodden playing on the naivete of those in authority.”

For more information on the newest English translation, click here.

 

“Humanist” Group Seeks Destruction of WW1 Monument

The World War 1 Monument in Bladensburg, Maryland.

The World War 1 Monument in Bladensburg, Maryland.

Bladensburg, MD – Members of the American Humanist Association have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the peace cross monument, erected to honor those from Prince George’s County who gave their lives in World War I,  is a violation of their First Amendment rights and as such should be torn down.

The monument was dedicated in 1925 and lists 49 citizens of Prince George’s County, Maryland, who died in the war.  Originally belonging to the State of Maryland, it was deeded to the Prince George’s County Parks and Planning Commission in 1960.  The monument takes its inspiration from the wayside cross, an often-seen landmark in rural France where American soldiers fought and died in World War I.

Members of the American Humanist Association have complained that the monument represents a Christian symbol and as such is offensive.   The plaintiffs and their legal counsel  have not commented on the use of the cross as a French cultural symbol in the context of the American experience in World War I, but rather have chosen to interpret it as state sponsorship of Christianity.

For more information, see The Washington Post story here.

 

 

 

Lincoln County Wisconsin WW1 Memorial to be Refurbished

A large 1920s-era bronze memorial plaque listing those from Lincoln County, Wisconsin,  who died in WW1 will see the light of day after many years.  Formerly housed within a VFW building in Merrill, Wisconsin, the 7-foot tall, 380-pound bronze plaque was subsequently acquired by the Merrill Historical Society.  Recent plans call for the monument to be installed as the centerpiece of a small town park where the public will be able to view and appreciate the memorial.  This story reflects a growing awareness on the part of civic groups of the coming centennial of the First World War.  Fore more information, read the Wassau Daily Herald article here.

WW1 History Symposium Announced

The WFA East Coast Branch (USA) announces its Spring 2013 WW1 History Syposium

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