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.