(the only Czech book on most 100 Best Books of the 20th Century lists)

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The twin forces of global economy and world culture are having quite an impact on traditional national and ethnic cultures, making universal communication both necessary and possible. The message of Švejk, one man surviving absurdity, is universal. As English is the lingua franca of the present times, a good English translation of Jaroslav Hašek’s modern classic could serve to provide a universal good.

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" So they've done it to us,"  said the cleaning woman to Mr. Švejk. " They've killed our Ferdinand."  . . . " They killed him in Sarajevo, Mr. Švejk. They shot him with a revolver as he was riding with that archduchess of his in an automobile."


Homeland Security, Old-World Style

"The Austrian Ministry of Interior devised the following grades of loyalty and steadfastness toward the Monarchy: Ia, Ib, Ic—IIa, IIb, IIc—IIIa, IIIb, IIIc—IVa, IVb, IVc. The last Roman numeral, four, in connection with the letter a meant high treason and the rope, with the letter b internment, and with c an order to monitor and lock up the perpetrator.

"In the State police Station Chief’s desk there were to be found all kinds of forms and records. The Government wanted to know of each citizen how it was thought of."
                              Book Two, Chapter 2


Read the great review of our superior "must read" translation of this modern classic that is on the New York Public Library's list of "100 Best Books" and many other such lists.

READ The spirit of foreign authority wafted through the police headquarters. The authorities there were charged with finding out to what extent the subject population was enthusiastic for war. There were several exceptions. But, most people didn't deny that they were the sons of a nation that was doomed to bleed itself empty for interests totally alien to them. Police headquarters was also home to the most beautiful gathering of bureaucratic birds of prey. As a means of defending the existence of their convoluted articles of law, they had an affection for the use of hard-labor prisons and the gallows. THE PRESS FEATURES



What better way to "close the books" on the twentieth century, than by looking back at where it all began?  So, kick off your shoes, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

Here is where Right here!the
While he was waiting, Švejk looked over the judge advocate's office. It did not create a very favorable impression, especially the photographs that adorned its walls. They were pictures of various actions taken by the army in Galicia and Serbia. They were carefully composed photographs of burnt-out cottages, and of trees with branches straining from the weight of the human bodies hanging from them. Especially cute was a photograph from Serbia featuring an entire family who had been hanged: a small boy, a mother, a father. In the picture, two soldiers with bayonets stood guarding the tree with this entire family hanging in it. In the foreground stood an officer posturing like a victor, smoking a cigarette. In the background, a field kitchen could be seen, hard at work.


The more things change the more they remain the same ...


The German National Socialists, a.k.a. "nazis", burned the Švejk books.


The Communist leader of occupied Czechoslovakia exhorted the people to stop acting like Švejk.


The President of the "democratic" Czech Republic "totally rejects Švejk, svejking and svejkian views of the world".

A fan of Švejk wrote in response to the latest news:

"The ruling classes, the governing classes and the officer classes will all reject Švejk. They cannot control or predict his behaviour. He is not a sheep to be led to the slaughter. He plays with them rather than they play with all of us. I love Švejk and I love his attitude. Long live Švejk, down with tyrants, even democratic ones."