The Red Commissar: Including Further Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk and Other Stories

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9780385272377: The Red Commissar: Including Further Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk and Other Stories

Jaroslav Hasek is best known for his satirical masterpiece, "The Good Soldier Svejk". That has been described as 'Perhaps the funniest novel ever written'. Although his life was short and chaotic, Hasek did however write more as this volume tellingly reveals. In his preface, Cecil Parrott, translator and biographer of Hasek, crisply defines its purpose. 'All the world has heard of Svejk, but few are familiar with the countless other characters Hasek created in his stories and sketches, which together with his feuilletons and articles are thought to number some twelve hundred. The best of these deserve to be made available to the Western public and are included in this volume'. The range is wide. There is a selection from his Bugulma stories ("Hasek as Bolshevik" and "Red Commissar"), some early Svejk stories, reminiscences of Hasek's apprenticeship days, and the hilariously funny speeches made by Hasek when promoting his political 'Party of Moderate Progress within the bounds of the Law'.

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About the Author:

Cecil Parrott, translator, biographer and unrivalled authority on Jaroslav Hasek (1883-1923), describes him succinctly: 'Truant, rebel, vagabond, anarchist, play-actor, practical joker, bohemian (and Bohemian), alcoholic, traitor to the Czech legion, Bolshevik and bigamist.' He was also a satirical writer of genius, best known for The Good Soldier Svejk, but, as The Red Commissar (reissued in Faber Finds) reveals, dazzling in other formats as well: feuilletons, sketches, short stories and satirical cameos. Sir Cecil Parrott (1909-1984), diplomat, translator, writer and scholar, is best known for his definitive translation of Jaroslav Hasek's The Good Soldier Svejk. He also wrote two autobiographical volumes, The Tightrope and The Serpent and the Nightingale as well as his biography of Jaroslav Hasek, The Bad Bohemian (reissued in Faber Finds as is his translation of some of Hasek's short stories, The Red Commissar)). His diplomatic career culminated with his posting to Prague where he was the British Ambassador from 1960 to 1966. On retiring from the Foreign Office, he became first Professor of Russian and Soviet Studies and later Professor of Central and South-Eastern European Studies and Director of the Comenius Centre at the University of Lancaster.

Language Notes:

Text: English, Czech (translation)

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Jaroslav Hasek
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