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Jaroslav Hašek (30 April 1883 – 3 January 1923) Czech humorist and satirist
The Good Soldier Švejk (1921)
Švejk is also spelled Schweik or Schwejk in some editions.
- Great times call for great men. There are unknown heroes who are modest, with none of the historical glamour of a Napoleon. If you analysed their character you would find that it eclipsed even the glory of Alexander the Great. Today you can meet in the streets of Prague a shabbily dressed man who is not even himself aware of his significance in the history of the great new era. He goes modestly on his way, without bothering anyone. Nor is he bothered by journalists asking for an interview. If you asked him his name he would answer you simply and unassumingly: 'I am Švejk….'
- 'And so they've killed our Ferdinand,' said the charwoman to Mr Švejk, who had left military service years before, after having been finally certified by an army medical board as an imbecile, and now lived by selling dogs — ugly, mongrel monstrosities whose pedigrees he forged.
Apart from this occupation he suffered from rheumatism and was at this very moment rubbing his knees with Elliman's embrocation.
'Which Ferdinand, Mrs Müller?' he asked, going on with the massaging. 'I know two Ferdinands. One is a messenger at Průša's, the chemist's, and once by mistake he drank a bottle of hair oil there. And the other is Ferdinand Kokoška who collects dog manure. Neither of them is any loss.'
'Oh no, sir, it's his Imperial highness, the Archduke Ferdinand, from Konopiště, the fat churchy one.'
- First lines