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JAROSLAV HASEK’S SVEJK AND HIS ART OF SURVIVAL

K. Slamova
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

The main character of Jaroslav Hasek’s The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes during the World War has become one of the Czech legendary heroes. The article deals with the reception of the book abroad in connection to the English translation of the novel. At the beginning, it presents various opinions in the literary critics’ dispute whether Svejk is a suitable representative of the Czech nation abroad. This section culminates by looking for answers to the question who Josef Svejk really is and how to characterize him. This part is followed by an analysis how exile critics view the character of Svejk and shows a parallel with Skvorecký’s Danny – this comparison is possible if we consider Svejk as a literary type of a folk hero who can defy an absurd bureaucracy and triumph over it by refusing to accept its rules. The final part of the contribution is devoted to the personality of Sir Cecil Parrott, a significant British scholar and Hasek’s translator who made a significant contribution to bringing the Czech culture to the attention of the British public. This part contains some interesting reflections of an Englishman who works with a Czech literary text and faces some translator’s pitfalls.

Keywords: Jaroslav Hasek, Svejk, English translation, Cecil Parrott, reception abroad


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