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The Good Soldier Švejk

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Map of Austria-Hungary in 1914 showing the military districts and Švejk's journey. The entire plot of the novel took place on the territory of the Dual Monarchy.

The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk is a novel which contains a wealth of geographical references - either directly through the plot, in dialogues or in the authors own observations. Jaroslav Hašek was himself unusually well travelled and had a photographic memory of geographical (and other) details. It is evident that he put great emphasis on this: 8 of the 27 chapter headlines in The Good Soldier Švejk contain place names.

This web site will in due course contain a full overview of all the geographical references in the novel; from Prague in the introduction to Klimontów in the unfinished Book Four. Countries, cities, towns, villages, mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers, islands, buildings are included. Note that from 14 September 2013, institutions (including pubs) have been moved to the new 'Institutions' page. The list is sorted according to the order in which the names appear through the novel. The chapter headlines are from Zenny Sadlon's recent translation and will in most cases differ from Cecil Parrott's translation from 1973.

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 these examples: Sanok a location where the plot takes place, Dubno mentioned in the narrative, Zagreb part of a dialogue, and Pakoměřice mentioned in an anecdote.

>> The Good Soldier Švejk index of countries, cities, villages, mountains, rivers, bridges ... (586) Show all
>> I. In the rear
>> II. At the front
>> III. The famous thrashing
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

4. They threw Švejk out of the madhouse

Englandnn flag
Wikipedia czdeennnno Google mapsearch

England is first mentioned indirectly at Blázinec where the inmates could pretend to be King of England without any repercussions. Later England appears through the propaganda expression Gott strafe England. Still there is very little connection with England in the novel - amongst the few references are London, Sir Edward Grey, Shrapnel, Dalton, Darwin, Yorkshire (pig) and the magazine Country Life.

Background

England was in 1914 centre of the British Empire, the largest colonial power the world has ever seen. The empire entered the war on 4 August, through the alliance with France and Russia (the Entente), provoked by the German attack on Belgium. The declaration of war on Austria-Hungary followed on 12 August.

There was little of fighting between British and Austro-Hungarian forces as the former mostly fought on the Western Front, in the Middle East, in the colonies and on the seas. By the end of 1914 allmost all the German colonies had been conqured. The British Empire's economic power and its control of the seas were crucial to the outcome of the war. Particularly effective was the naval blockade of the Central Powers.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.4] Člověk se tam může vydávat za pánaboha nebo za panenku Marii, nebo za papeže, nebo za anglickýho krále, nebo za císaře pána, nebo za sv. Václava, ačkoliv ten poslední byl pořád svázanej a nahej a ležel v isolaci.
[1.14.5] Francie, Anglie i Rusko jsou příliš slabé proti rakousko-turecko-německé žule.
[1.14.5] Pro chmel je nyní ztracena Francie, Anglie, Rusko i Balkán.

Also written:Anglie cz Angleterre fr

Literature

Krkonošenn flag
Wikipedia czdeennnpl Google mapsearch

Krkonoše is mentioned when it is revealed that a professor at Blázinec claimed that the cradle of the gypsys was in these very mountains.

Background

Krkonoše is a mountain range on the border between Poland and the Czech Republic, in 1914 the border between Austria-Hungary and Germany. The name is very old, was mentioned by Ptolemaios, and may be of indo-european origin. The interpretation of the name has been preserved, and the latin name was Gigantei montes. These are the highest mountains in the Czech Republic, Sněžka reaches 1602 metres.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.4] Taky jsem se tam sešel s několika profesory. Jeden s nich pořád chodil za mnou a vykládal, že kolíbka cikánů byla v Krkonoších, a ten druhý mně vysvětloval, že uvnitř zeměkoule je ještě jedna mnohem větší než ta vrchní.

Also written:Giant Mountains en Riesengebirge de Karkonosze pl

Jaroměřnn flag
Wikipedia czdeensv Google mapsearch
jaromer.jpg

Jaroměř, 1910.

jaromerk.jpg

Jaroměř k.k. Landwehr Kaserne.

Jaroměř is mentioned when Švejk, during his interrogation, list the songs he knows. Immediately after he is thrown out of Blázinec. This song, Když jsme táhli k Jaroměři, is mentioned twice more in the novel.

Background

Jaroměř is an old town near Hradec Králové in eastern Bohemia. Today (2017) the town has around 12,000 inhabitants.

The song

The military song the Švejk sings twice and mentions once during the plot is said to have been on of Hašek's favourites and is also mentioned in one of his short stories, Sportovní fejeton from 1911. According to Václav Pletka it was originally was called Když jsme táhli k Ostroměři, indicating that the origin was from the 1866 war with Prussia. The song has over the years appeared in many guises, some of them pretty vulgar.

Demography, 1910

According to the 1910 census Jaroměř had 8213 inhabitants of which 8026 (97 per cent) reported Czech as their mother tongue. The judicial district was okres Jaroměř, administratively it reported to hejtmanství Dvůr Králové nad Labem.

Jaroměř hosted a parish and a post office.

Military, 1914

With respect to military recruitment Jaroměř belonged to Heeresergänzungsbezirk Nr. 18 and Landwehrergänzungsbezirk Nr. 11. Local infantrymen would therefore usually serve with Infanterieregiment Nr. 18 or Landwehrinfanterieregiment Nr. 11.

* Ergänzungsbezirk: recruitment district.

In 1914 one of the three battalions of Landwehrinfanterieregiment Nr. 11 were garrisoned in Jaroměř. Of the inhabitants in the town 181 were listed as military personnel, a number explained by the proximity to the garrison town Josefov.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.4] „Znám ještě první sloku z ,Kde domov můj’ a potom ,Jenerál Windischgrätz a vojenští páni od východu slunce vojnu započali’ a ještě pár takových národních písniček jako ,Zachovej nám, Hospodine’ a ,Když jsme táhli k Jaroměři’ a ,Tisíckrát pozdravujeme Tebe’...“
[2.1]
  Když jsme táhli k Jaroměři,
  ať si nám to kdo chce věří...
[3.4]
  Když jsme táhli k Jaroměři,
  ať si nám to kdo chce věří,
  přišli jsme tam asi právě k večeři...

SourcesJaroslav Šerák

Literature

Salmova ulicenn flag
Google mapsearch Švejk-muzeum
salmovska.jpg

Salmovská towards Ječná, marking the site of the former police station.

salmova1.png

Pokrok západu, 2.4.1902

salmova.png

Národní listy, 6.6.1891

Salmova ulice is first mentioned at the end of [1.4] when Švejk was sent to the police station in this street after being thrown out of the madhouse. Here he encounters the brutal inspector Inspektor Braun and shares the cell with a good citizen who has ended on a slippery slope after a company party. The date of his stay must be just after 28 June 1914 because Švejk reads the declaration of war as he is escorted onwards to Policejní ředitelství. Nearly all of [1.5] takes place at this police station.

Background

Salmova ulice is the author's way of writing Salmovská ulice, a short and curved street in Nové město, not far from U kalicha. At the time there was a police station at the corner of Ječná ulice (see Policejní komisařství Salmova ulice). The street is named after Franz Altgraf von Salm-Reifferscheid who at the end of the 18th century laid out a large garden behind house No. 506.

Naming conclicts

Why the author used the name Salmova ulice is not clear. The name of the street was changed from Salmova to Salmovská already in 1870 but newspaper adverts show that Salmova was in use well into the interwar years. Thus the name was used side-by-side with the official Salmovská, so the use of Salmova is surely the author's choice (and not a typing mistake).

The wood trader Švejk

Interesting enough an advert from 1891 was placed by a certain Josef Švejk who lived in No. 14. He put beech planks up for sale.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.4] Švejk prohlásil, že když někoho vyhazují s blázince, že ho nesmějí vyhodit bez oběda. Výtržnosti učinil konec vrátným přivolaný policejní strážník, který Švejka předvedl na policejní komisařství do Salmovy ulice.

SourcesJaroslav Šerák

Also written:Salmgasse de

Literature

Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

4. They threw Švejk out of the madhouse


© 2009 - 2021 Jomar Hønsi Last updated: 29.7.2021