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The Good Soldier Svejk

The Good Soldier Schweik. Illustration by Josef Lada

Svejk - is the most famous Czech literary character, the protagonist of Jaroslav Hasek's novel "The Good Soldier Svejk". This is a literary work full of humor and satire is widely known throughout the world.

The novel is set during the World War I in Austria-Hungary, a multi-ethnic empire full of long-standing tensions. Fifteen million people died in the War, one million of them Austro-Hungarian soldiers of whom around 140,000 were Czechs. Many of the situations and characters seem to have been inspired, at least in part, by Ha?ek's service in the 91st Infantry Regiment of the Austro-Hungarian Army. The novel also deals with broader anti-war themes. With a series of absurdly comic episodes, it explores both the pointlessness and futility of conflict in general and in particular as well as the Austrian and Czech military discipline.

Many of its characters, especially the Czechs, are participating in a conflict they do not understand on behalf of a country to which they have no loyalty. The character of Josef Svejk is a development of this theme. Through possibly-feigned idiocy or incompetence he repeatedly manages to frustrate military authority and expose its stupidity in a form of passive resistance: the reader is left unclear, however, as to whether Svejk is genuinely incompetent, or acting quite deliberately with dumb insolence. These absurd events reach a climax when Svejk, wearing a Russian uniform, is mistakenly taken prisoner by his own troops.

It makes no sense to repeat here the content of the novel, it is quite large, and the literature - is not the subject of this web-site. We note only that the book "The Good Soldier ?vejk" is really worth for you to read. Our website is dedicated to travel around Czech Republic, and we would like to show what role does ?vejk play in Czech Republic, the hero of this glorious era.

It seems that the Czech Republic is soaked by the image of ?vejk. Traveling around the country, you will constantly see images, sculptural forms, souvenirs associated with the main character and the events described in the novel. All kinds of pubs and restaurants try to use the image, of "the Good Soldier Svejk". It is clear he liked drinking beer. For a good reason in the Czech Republic a huge number of restaurants and barrel shops contain the word Svejk in the title. It is worth noticing that in our hotel there is a national restaurant Svejk. This restaurant is real not only because its name is officially registered trademark (which often illegally used by others), but also the decor, food and general atmosphere of the restaurant is as close as possible to those that have been in restaurants for almost a century ago, at the time of Svejk. And, of course, in our restaurant you can taste the very Pilsner beer, that was so loved by the characters in the book!

Svejk Restaurant

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