During the First World War, unenthusiastic enlistees would fake disability to avoid dying in a muddy trench. The men are subjected to a sadistic regime of medicalized torture aimed at forcing them to admit their fakery and declare themselves fit for military service. One insists that insanity is the way to go, referring to his own phony religious mania. Another mentions a goof who dislocates legs for the modest price of 20 crowns.
Muller and receives the news with characteristic good-natured calm. He goes, as usual, to "The Flagon," a tavern occupied at the moment by Palivec, the landlord, and Bretschneider, a plainclothes policeman on secret service who is hoping to pick up some anti-Austrian expressions of opinion on the heels of the assassination. He draws the conversation into political channels and arrest Schweik and Bretschneider for some harmless remarks. Schweik is taken to police headquarters where he is interrogated and thrown into a cell among other innocent victims of the war hysteria, including Palivec.
Subscribe to RSS He was a man who never lived, yet who went further in defining the Czechs in the 20th century than perhaps anyone else. the most famous of Czech literary characters, the Good Soldier Svejk. Created by the true bohemian - as well as anarchist - writer Jaroslav Hasek, Svejk is often impenetrable but ultimately irreverent beneath a simple child-like smile most often mistaken for foolishness. He makes a mockery of his "betters" within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, ultimately seeing through the hypocrisies of his day. Almost unintentionally he sabotages a regime already coming apart at the seams under the fiasco of the Great War. His greatest accomplishment. to survive in the face of adversity and absurd situations, which continues to be his legacy for many Czechs...
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