Jaroslav Hasek


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hašek, Jaroslav

 

Born Apr. 30, 1883, in Prague; died Jan. 3, 1923, in Lipnice. Czech writer.

Hašek was born into the family of a teacher. He graduated from a school of commerce. Hašek first appeared in print at the beginning of the 20th century with travel sketches and humorous genre studies. In his later satirical stories and articles, distinguished by the acuteness of subject matter and accuracy of social characterizations, Hašek castigated the Austrian military, the governmental bureaucracy, bourgeois morality and culture, and the church and revealed the hard lot of the people. During World War I, in 1915, Hašek was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army. Soon he yielded himself prisoner to the Russians. In 1916 he joined the Czechoslovak military unit which had been organized in Russia and wrote for the newspaper Českoslován (Kiev). After the October Revolution, Hašek began to support Soviet power and joined the RCP (Bolshevik) and the Red Army (Moscow, 1918). He conducted party work in the political department of the Fifth Army at the Eastern Front and contributed articles to frontline newspapers. In his Russian-language feuilletons Hašek assailed the interventionists, Kolchak, the counterrevolutionary clergy, and the bourgeoisie. In 1920, Hašek returned to his homeland. Hounded by the bourgeois press, he struck back with articles exposing the bourgeois system and defending Soviet Russia. The acme of Hašek’s work was the novel The Good Soldier Švejk (1921-23, unfinished), which combined realistic pictures of folk life with keen and grotesque satire. Švejk is the “little man,” the spokesman for spontaneous popular protest against the war; the mask of a naïve simpleton makes it possible for him to oppose the bourgeois governmental apparatus successfully and to reveal in a comic form the anti-popular essence of the bourgeois social system. The novel was dramatized and made into motion pictures many times. In Czechoslovakia (in the city of Lipnice), the Hašek Museum was opened in 1959. In the USSR streets have been named after Hašek in Moscow, Bugul’ma, Cheliabinsk, and other cities.

WORKS

Spisy, vols. 1-10, 15-16. Prague, 1955-68.
In Russian translation:
Pokhozhdeniia bravogo soldata Shveika vo vremia mirovoi voiny, parts 1-4. Moscow, 1963.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1-5. Moscow, 1966.

REFERENCES

Fučik, J. “Voina so Shveikom.” In his book Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1955.
Elanskii, N. Ia. Gashek v revoliutsionnoi Rossii. Moscow, 1960.
Dunaevskii, A. M. Idu za Gashekom. Moscow, 1963.
Vostokova, S. Ia. Gashek: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1964.
Shevchuk, V. Ia. Gashek. Kiev, 1965.
Shcherbakov, Iu. Pisatel’, agitator, boets. Moscow, 1966.
Shmel’kova, I. A. Ia. Gashek: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1959.
Ančik, Zd. O životě J. Haška. Prague, 1953.
Křížek, J. J. Hašek v Revolučním Rusku. Prague, 1957.
Pytlík, R., and M. Lajske. Bibliografie J. Haška. Prague, 1960.
Pytlík, R. J. Hašek. Prague, 1962.
Frynta, E. Hašek der Schöpfer des Schwejk. [Prague, 1965.]

S. I. VOSTOKOVA

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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As some see it, the recent complications in ties with the West are "just the latest manifestation of the Czech national tradition of giving perfunctory external obeisance to dominant great powers while inwardly seeking to preserve their own traditions and pursue quiet, provincial lives." It's an approach in keeping with the anarchistic spirit of the famous Czech novelist Jaroslav Hasek's Good Soldier Schweik (1920-2 3), and it may "have served Czechs well under the Hapsburgs, Nazis, and Soviets," Rhodes says.