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The Good Soldier Švejk

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Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand and Herzogin Sophie leave the Sarajevo Town Hall, five minutes before the assassination, 28 June 1914.

The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk is a novel with an unusually rich array of characters. In addition to the many who directly form part of the plot, a large number of fictional and real people (and animals) are mentioned; either through Švejk's anecdotes, the narrative or indirectly through words and expressions.

This web page contains short write-ups on the persons the novel refers to; from Napoléon in the introduction to Hauptmann Ságner in the last few lines of the unfinished Book Four. The list is sorted in to the order of which the names first appear. The chapter headlines are from Zenny Sadlon's recent translation (1999-2008) and will in most cases differ from Cecil Parrott's version from 1973. In January 2021 there are still around twenty entries to be added.

The quotes in Czech are copied from the on-line version of The Good Soldier Švejk: provided by Jaroslav Šerák and contain links to the relevant chapter. The toolbar has links for direct access to Wikipedia, Google maps, Google search, svejkmuseum.cz and the novel on-line.

The names are coloured according to their role in the novel, illustrated by the following examples: Dr. Grünstein who is directly involved in the plot, Heinrich Heine as a historical person, and Otto Katz as a fictional character. Note that a number of seemingly fictive characters are inspired by living persons. See for instance Oberleutnant Lukáš and Major Wenzl.

Titles and ranks have until 2020 largely been missing on this web page. Senior Lieutenant Lukáš has, for instance, only been known as Lukáš. This weakness is now (24 December 2020) slowly being addressed. Military ranks and other titles related to Austrian officialdom will appear in German, and in line with the terms used at the time. This means that Captain Ságner is still referred to as Hauptmann although the term is now obsolete, having been replaced by Kapitän. Civilian titles denoting profession etc. are mostly translated into English.

>> index of people, mythical figures, animals ... (582) Show all
>> I. In the rear
>> II. At the front
>> III. The famous thrashing
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

Afterword to the first volume, "In the rear"

Doctor Guth, Jiřínn flag
*23.1.1861 Heřmanův Městec - †8.1.1943 Náchod
Wikipedia czde Google search Švejkův slovník
guth.jpg

Český svět, 20.1.1921

guth1.jpg

Český svět, 12.5.1921

Guth is held as an example of someone who talks very differently from pubkeeper Palivec.

Background

Guth was a significant educator and literary figure, also known as a member of the first Olympic Committee, and very active in the Olympic movement. He was also master of ceremony at president professor Masaryk's office. From 1920 onwards he called himself Jiří Stanislav Guth-Jarkovský.

He studied at universities in Prague and Geneva, and graduated in philosophy. He then became an educator in a noble family. Already from 1890 he was active as translator of French literature, and he also wrote short-stories using the pseudonym Stanislav Jarkovský.

At the turn of the century he was teaching at a gymnasium in Prague, was active in Klub Českých Turistů and was promoting Czech participation in the Olympic Games and he was a member of the very first Olympic Committee from 1896. He also wrote travel literature - from the Mediterranean countries, France, Sweden a.o.

Kuděj

Guth var Zdeněk Matěj Kuděj's teacher at the gymnasium at Vinohrady and soon after the end of World War I he employed his former student as secretary of Klub Českých Turistů, an organisation he at the time chaired. Kuděj describes his employer in relatively sympathetic terms.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.16] Život není žádnou školou uhlazeného chování. Každý mluví tak, jak je schopen. Ceremoniář dr Guth mluví jinak než hostinský Palivec „U kalicha“, a tento román není pomůckou k salonnímu ušlechtění a naučnou knihou, jakých výrazů je možno ve společnosti užívat. Je to historický obraz určité doby.

Literature

Saint Aloysiusnn flag
*9.3.1568 Castiglione delle Stiviere - †21.6.1591 Roma
Wikipedia czdeenitsv Google search
gonzaga.jpg

Sv. Alojsia Gonzagy Spisek o andělích a jiné zápisky, 1891.

alois.png

Illustrierte Mädchenzeitung, 1926.

Saint Aloysius did, according to the monk monk Eustach, burst into tears when he overheard a thunderous fart, and had to resort to prayer to regain the equilibrium of his soul. Jaroslav Hašek contemptuously describe him as a representative of "the masturbators of false culture".

Background

Saint Aloysius was an Italian Jesuit priest, later canonised. His real name was Luigi Gonzaga. He is the patron saint of the Catholic youth and chastity. He died when caring for plague victims, which made him a saint for protection against this disease.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.16] Oni by vychovali národ jako skupinu přecitlivělých lidiček, masturbantů falešné kultury typu sv. Aloise, o kterém se vypravuje v knize mnicha Eustacha, že když sv. Alois uslyšel, jak jeden muž za hlučného rachotu vypustil své větry, tu se dal do pláče a jedině modlitbou se upokojil.

Also written:Svatý Alois cz

Monk Eustachnn flag
Wikipedia enfr Google search
eustache.jpg

Bulletin des musées de France, 1929.

Eustach is supposed to have written the story about the sufferings of Saint Aloysius after the latter witnessed a resounding fart.

Background

Eustach is not identified with certainty. One possibility is the French painter, architect and abbot Eustache Restout (1655-1743). He doesn't seem to have been an author though.

One of his namesake was actually an author: Eustache de Refuge (1564-1617). There is however no information indicating that he was ever a monk.

A theory of Milan Jankovič is that the person in question was the Greek Eustathios. This assumption seems however improbable as Saint Aloysius lived some 500 years later, and the former could not possibly have got any whiff of that thunderous fart.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.16] Oni by vychovali národ jako skupinu přecitlivělých lidiček, masturbantů falešné kultury typu sv. Aloise, o kterém se vypravuje v knize mnicha Eustacha, že když sv. Alois uslyšel, jak jeden muž za hlučného rachotu vypustil své větry, tu se dal do pláče a jedině modlitbou se upokojil.

Also written:Eustache fr

Mrs. Laudová, Marienn flag
*16.8.1869 Mladá Boleslav - †20.10.1931 Praha
Wikipedia cz Google search Švejkův slovník
laudova.jpg

Český svět, 11.12.1914.

laudova.png

Venkov, 23.4.1916.

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L'Intransigeant, 25.10.1931.

Laudová was very well spoken compared to pubkeeper Palivec and along with doctor Guth and Olga Fastrová named as masturbators of false culture, one of the people trying to make Czechoslovakia into a huge banquet hall with parquet floor where people would come in tails and gloves. Proper language would always be used, and salon manners would be exercised.

Background

Laudová was a well known Czech actress, and periodically active as a journalist. She performed at Národní divadlo from 1899 to 1915 when she had to quit after an accident. During her acting career she also performed abroad, notably in Serbia and Russia.

After her en-forced retirement she became a teacher at the State Music Conservatory in Prague and resumed her writing. For the most part she wrote educational prose, including giving advice on how to behave in society. This is surely what Hašek refers to in the afterword to part one of the novel.

She was married to the journalist and politician Ignát Hořica (1859-1902) and therefore also used the name Laudová-Hořicová but as an actress she used her family name.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.16] Od hostinského Palivce nemůžeme žádat, aby mluvil tak jemně jako pí Laudová, dr Guth, pí Olga Fastrová a celá řada jiných, kteří by nejraději udělali z celé Československé republiky velký salon s parketami, kde by se chodilo ve fracích, v rukavičkách a mluvilo vybraně a pěstoval se jemný mrav salonů, pod jehož rouškou bývají právě salonní lvi oddáni nejhorším neřestem a výstřednostem.

Literature

Fastrová, Olga Annann flag
*10.1.1876 Praha - †8.8.1965 Praha
Wikipedia cz Google search Švejkův slovník
fastrova.jpg

Český svět, 27.8.1909.

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Čech, 31.5.1914.

fastrova1.png

Nové mody, 10.11.1918.

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Rudé právo, 20.3.1921.

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Franta Habán ze Žižkova, Franta Sauer, 1923.

Olga Fastrová was another of the author's ironic examples of someone who didn't talk like pubkeeper Palivec.

Background

Olga Fastrová (born Cikhartová) was a Czech writer, journalist and translator, considered the first female Czech journalist. In 1896 she completed her teacher's education, a rare feat for a woman in those days. In 1898 she married the dramatist and translator Otto Faster (1872-1907) with whom she had three daughters.

Her initial writing activities consisted in helping her husband is his various projects. This included translation, and from 1903 she is listed as a translator from French in her own right. I 1908 gav ho ut romanen Fata Morgana.

From 1910 to 1936 she was permanent editor of Národní politika, the first ever woman who served in this capacity in any of the major Czech newspapers. Her focus was primarily fashion and other themes that were deemed of typically female interest (home decoration etc.). She often used the pseudonym Yvonna. Some of her articles were also published in North America, for instance in Cleveland.

Hašek and Fastrová

Jaroslav Hašek knew Olga Fastrová personally; in the short story Za Olgou Fastrovou he writes that they had met just after his return from Russia, and Fastrová had asked him if "the Bosheviks really were eating human meat". The story was a reaction to a satire about the Bolsheviks that Fastrová wrote in Národní politika 7 May 1922. In the story Hašek arranges her fictive death, claiming that she must had very high fever when writing such nonsense. Fastrová never reacted in writing to the story and survived Hašek by 42 years.

Fastrová is also mentioned as Yvonna in Strana mírného pokroku v mezích zákona so Hašek probably knew her before the war, although he in his story claimed that he met her first time shortly after returning from Russia on 19 December 1920.

In his book Franta Habán ze Žižkova, Franta Sauer dedicates an entire chapter to the meeting between the two, and confirms the story about the Bolsheviks eating human meat, or rather: he was just relaying Hašek's version from the story Kronštat, printed in Rudé právo 20 March 1921. Otherwise Sauer describes the meeting as being held in a polite manner.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.16] Od hostinského Palivce nemůžeme žádat, aby mluvil tak jemně jako pí Laudová, dr Guth, pí Olga Fastrová a celá řada jiných, kteří by nejraději udělali z celé Československé republiky velký salon s parketami, kde by se chodilo ve fracích, v rukavičkách a mluvilo vybraně a pěstoval se jemný mrav salonů, pod jehož rouškou bývají právě salonní lvi oddáni nejhorším neřestem a výstřednostem.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák, Veronika Skálová

Literature

Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

Afterword to the first volume, "In the rear"


© 2009 - 2021 Jomar Hønsi Last updated: 27.11.2021