Tooltip container
Hovudpersonen

The Good Soldier Švejk

Hovudpersonen Change languageChange language
Change languageChange language

People

Novel on-lineŠvejk MuseumBibliografieFacebookŠvejk CentralBlogTravel diaryContact

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

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 the narrative, Švejk's anecdotes, 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 were 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 as a fictional characters who is directly involved in the plot, Fähnrich Dauerling as a fictional character who is not part of the plot, Heinrich Heine as a historical person. Note that a number of seemingly fictional characters are inspired by living persons. Examples are Oberleutnant Lukáš, Major Wenzl and numerous others.

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 This means that Captain Ságner is still referred to as Hauptmann although the term is now obsolete, having been replaced by Kapitän.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.

>> People index of people, mythical figures, animals ... (584) Show all
>> I. In the rear
>> II. At the front
>> III. The famous thrashing
Index Back Forward II. At the front Hovudpersonen

3. Švejk's happenings in Királyhida

Negro Kristiannn flag
*Christiansted 2.10.1890 - †Praha 4.10.1924
Search
kristian.jpg

Café Louvre, 2011

kristian.png

Kopřivy, 10.6.1909.

kristian2.png

"Sylvestr pana Pažana", Jaroslav Hašek

Denní hlasatel, 28.12.1915.

kristian1.png

Prager Tagblatt, 27.3.1924.

Kristian was the subject of one of Švejk's anecdotes when escorted from Mariánská kasárna to Budějovické nádraží when the regiment was transferred to Bruck an der Leitha - Királyhida. He was a waiter, son of an Abyssinian king who had been exhibited in a circus at Štvanice and who had fornicated with a lady who wrote poems for the Lada magazine and thus had given birth to Kristian.

Background

Kristian (Kristian Ebenezer) was a rare black waiter who worked at Café Louvre, Hotel Baška, Café Royal, at the station restaurant in Brno - and various places in the countryside.

Egon Erwin Kisch wrote in Prager Tagblatt about a chance meeting with Kristian in a hotel in Trenčianske Teplice in 1921 where the latter worked as a waiter[a]. Eduard Bass, another acquaintance of Hašek, also wrote about Kristian who he knew from Prague and Brno. Bass even wrote his obituary in Lidové noviny[b].

Augustin Knesl mentions Kristian in the series "Švejk a ti druzí" (Švejk and the others)[e] but somewhat naively concludes that Hašek's description of him was precise. Knesl had not registered that Kristian was from the Caribbean and thus could not have been the son of an Abyssinian king.

Hašek had also mentioned Kristian many years before he wrote The Good Soldier Švejk. Exatly when the story Silvestr pana Pažana was first published is now known but it was published by a Czech-Amerian paper in 1915[d] so it was probably writtem in 1914 or in early 1915.

Danish citizen

Ebenezer was born in the Danish colony St.Croix in the Carribean. His mother tongue was Danish but already as a teenager he spoke English fluently.

Kristian is actually the only Nordic citizen who is mentioned by name in The Good Soldier Švejk (not counting the possibility that the mysterious psychologist Doctor Kallerson is a distortion of e.g. Karl Larsson).

To Prague

As a 14-year-old he arrived in Prague together with engineers from the Daňkovka factory. He was a waiter apprentice at the newly established Café Louvre where he worked for several years. He became a well-known character in Prague and learned Czech exceptionally quickly.

Already in 1905 he is mentioned in the newspapers and during the following year his name appeared several times. In 1916 he was to marry Božena Hanušová from Mladá Boleslav but the bride somehow disappeared, and the story ended in the newspapers. He even became an ardent Czech nationalist and caused distaste amongst Germans. Eduard Bass even called him a chauvinist[b]. Already in 1909 the socialdemocrat satirical magazine Kopřivy associated him with Klofáč and his Česká strana národně sociální. Here it is also revealed that he still worked at Louvre[c].

Poor health and early death

Throughout his life he was plagued by poor health. He had problems walking and also suffered from tuberculosis, a disease that in the end proved fatal. Shortly before he died he married the same woman who had vanished in 1916. His last address was Vinohrady, Puchmajerova 56. It is now known if he had any offspring and nor do we know if he did military service.

Egon Erwin Kisch (1921)

Also stehe ich auf, nachdem ich genug Zeit gewonnen habe, und gehe ins Vorderzimmer und setze mich zu einem Tischen und lasse mir vom Neger Christian (ja, ja, dem aus dem Café Louvre und aus dem Café Parlament eine Schale Schwarzen bringen und lese die Blätter.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „S tím vzájemným pářením,“ poznamenal Švejk, „je to vůbec zajímavá věc. V Praze je číšník černoch Kristián, jehož otec byl habešským králem a dal se ukazovat v Praze na Štvanici v jednom cirku.
[II.3] „Případ vašeho černocha Kristiána,“ řekl jednoroční dobrovolník, „třeba promyslit i ze stanoviska válečného. Dejme tomu, že toho černocha odvedli. Je Pražák, tak patří k 28. regimentu. Přece jste slyšel, že dvacátý osmý přešel k Rusům. Jak by se asi Rusové divili, kdyby zajali i černocha Kristiána. Ruské noviny by jistě psaly, že Rakousko žene do války svá koloniální vojska, kterých nemá, že Rakousko sáhlo už k černošským reservám.“

Sources: Egon Erwin Kisch, Hans-Peter Laqueur, Jaroslav Šerák, Augustin Knesl, Eduard Bass, Café Louvre

Also written:Kristián Hašek Christian Kisch

Literature

References
aBrief aus Trencsin‑TeplitzEgon Erwin Kisch, Prager Tagblatt25.6.1921
bČernoch Kristian zemřelLidové noviny6.10.1924
cRostemeKopřivy10.6.1909
dSylvestr pana PažanaJaroslav Hašek, Denní hlasatel28.12.1915
eŠvejk a ti druzí. 17.Augustin Knesl, Večerní Praha1983
Feldoberkurat Lacinann flag
Search
lacinanekr.png

Obituary

Stráž na Bečvě, 20.7.1928.

Lacina was a fat and gluttonous military cleric from k.u.k. Kavallerietruppendivision Nr. 7 who also enjoyed a tipple or two. He arrived in Budějovice the day before Ersatzbataillon IR. 91 left for Bruck an der Leitha and travelled with Švejk and Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek in the arrest wagon. On departure he was under the influence and soon fell asleep and was snoring and farting most of the way. The author notes that Lacina wore a "black hard hat", something that indicates that he was off duty. This is also how the illustrator of The Good Soldier Švejk, Josef Lada, envisaged him.

Lacina is mentioned 10 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Background

The senior field chaplain had an obvious real life model in Ludvík Lacina, a Roman-Catholic field chaplain who served in k.u.k. Heer from 1906 to 1918. The obituaries from 1928 reveal that he was "identified" as a model for the literary field chaplain already before his death[a].

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Tak vešli na nádraží a šli k určenému vojenskému vlaku, když málem by byla ostrostřelecká kapela, jejíž kapelník byl vážně popleten nečekanou manifestací, spustila „Zachovej nám, Hospodine“. Naštěstí v pravé chvíli objevil se v černém tvrdém klobouku vrchní polní kurát páter Lacina od 7. jízdecké divise a počal dělat pořádek.
[II.3] Švejk přistoupil k páteru Lacinovi, obrátil ho ke stěně a znalecky řekl: "Ten bude chrnět až do Brucku," a vrátil se na své místo, provázen zoufalým pohledem nešťastného desátníka, který poznamenal: "Abych to šel snad oznámit".
References
aHaškův polní kurát Lacina zemřelStráž na Bečvě20.7.1928
Přednosta stanice v Budějovicíchnn flag
Search

Přednosta stanice v Budějovicích (the stationmaster in Budějovice) is mentioned in connectio with Feldoberkurat Lacina when the regimenet was departing from Budějovice to Bruck an der Leitha. The officers from the regiment hid in the station master's office when they got a whiff of the drunk field chaplain.

Background

Accoring to the address book from 1915 the two station masters at Budějovické nádraží in 1915 were Johann Hellmich and Josef Schwarz. Head of the railway authorities in the city was Karl von Fodermayer[a].

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Ráno dostal nápad, že musí dělat pořádek při odjezdu prvních ešalonů regimentu, a proto se potloukal po celé délce špalíru, účinkoval na nádraží tak, že důstojníci řídící dopravu pluku uzavřeli se před ním v kanceláři přednosty stanice.
References
aChytilův úplný adresář Království ČeskéhoAlois Chytil1915
Muḥammadnn flag
*572 Mekka - †8.6.632 Medina
Wikipedia czdeennnno Search
muhammed.jpg

Muhammad went to the montain and meet the angel Gabriel.

Muḥammad is pulled into the plot when Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek ridicules the escorting corporal on the train to Bruck an der Leitha. The famous proverb he quotes is 'If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain'.

Background

Muḥammad was an Arab political and religious leader. In the history of religion he counts as the founder of the Islam and is regarded by Muslims as a messenger and prophet of Allāh. The name has many transliterations in English. The mountain in the proverb Mareks uses refers to Jabal an-Nûr by Mekka, where in the cave Hira Muḥammad met the angel Gabriel (according to legend).

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „Milý pane kaprále,“ ozval se jednoroční dobrovolník, „papíry nejdou samy k veliteli eskorty. Když hora nejde k Mahomedovi, musí jít velitel eskorty sám pro papíry. Vy jste se nyní ocitl před novou situací.

Also written:Mahomed Hašek Mohamed cz Mohammed de

Hájek, Ladislavnn flag
*9.3.1884 Domažlice - †26.3.1943 Praha
Search Švejkův slovník
hajek.png

Žofie Hájková, Ladislav Hájek, Jaroslav Hašek.

Lázně Poděbrady, 21.5.1913.

hajek1.png

Lázně Poděbrady, 8.5.1913.

hajek2.jpg

Lidové noviny, 28.3.1943.

Hájek enters the plot when Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek relates his experiences from his time as editor of Svět zvířat.

He is mentioned again in by Švejk in [III.3], now with his full name and even his add-on "Domažlický" (from Domažlice) was included. Here the theme is Hájek's time as editor of Nezávislost in Poděbrady.

Background

Hájek was a journalist, poet and writer, friend of Jaroslav Hašek throughout most of the latter's life. They became friends when studying at the commercial academy (1899-1902) and together they published poetry collection Májové výkřiky in 1903 and Hájek wrote a short biography on Jaroslav Hašek in 1925[b].

As this rather autobiographical part of The Good Soldier Švejk reveals, Hájek was Hašek's predecessor as editor of Svět zvířat (and also his successor). On 5 October 1912 Hájek married Žofie Fuchsová, daughter of the late Mr. Fuchs, the magazines former owner and publisher (again a parellel to Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek's story on the train). After marrying the couple moved to Ferdinandova třída no. 339[c] near c.k. policejní ředitelství. Here Hašek celebrated Christmas 1922 together with them.

In 1913 Hájek owned and published the supplement to Nezávislost, Lázně Poděbrady. Jaroslav Hašek contributed a couple of stories to this magazine. On 21 May 1913 it also printed a well known picture of Hašek and Hájek together with a group of friends (top right). That same year Hájek published the magazine Svět in addition to the well known Svět zvířat.

Little is known about Hájek's personal life apart from the fact that he was married twice. According to Břetislav Hůla his first wife committed suicice, and Hájek then married Milena, a lady who was still alive in 1948[a]. The research of Jaroslav Šerák reveals that his first wife committed suicide in 1919 and that Hájek worked in Olomouc until 1923. He then returned to Prague where he lived for the rest of his life.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Jak jsem se vlastně stal kdysi redaktorem ,Světa zvířat’, onoho velice zajímavého časopisu, bylo pro mne nějaký čas hádankou dosti složitou do té doby, kdy jsem sám přišel k tomu názoru, že jsem to mohl provést jen ve stavu naprosto nepříčetném, ve kterém jsem byl sveden přátelskou láskou ku starému kamarádovi Hájkovi, který redigoval do té doby poctivě časopis, ale zamiloval se přitom do dcerušky majitele časopisu pana Fuchse, který ho vyhnal na hodinu pod tou podmínkou, že mu zaopatří redaktora pořádného.
[II.3] Majitel listu, když jsem mu byl představen svým kamarádem Hájkem, přijal mne velice vlídně a otázal se mne, zdali mám vůbec nějaké ponětí o zvířatech, a byl velice spokojen mou odpovědí, že jsem si vždy velice zvířat vážil a viděl v nich přechod ke člověku a že zejména se stanoviska ochrany zvířat respektoval jsem vždy jejich tužby a přání. Každé zvíře si nic jiného nepřeje, než aby bylo před tím, než je sněděno, usmrceno pokud možno bezbolestně.
[III.3] Tenkrát totiž začali vydávat v Poděbradech časopejsek ,Nezávislost’ a poděbradskej lekárník byl toho hlavní hlavou, a redaktorem tam udělali ňákýho Ladislava Hájka Domažlickýho.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák, Břetislav Hůla

Literature

References
aSňatekBřetislav Hůla, LA-PNP14.12.1948
bZ mých vzpomínek na Jaroslava HaškaLadislav Hájek1925
cPobytové přihlášky pražského policejního ředitelstvíNAČR1851 - 1914
Mr. Fuchs, Václavnn flag
*14.3.1857 Hořice - †27.9.1911 Smíchov
Search Švejkův slovník
fuchskan.jpg

Das interessante Blatt, 5.11.1896.

fuchs0.png

Židovské matriky, Hořice, 1857

Fuchs is mentioned by Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek when he on the train from Budějovice to Bruck an der Leitha relates his experiences as editor of the magazine Svět zvířat. Fuchs was the owner of the magazine and had the daughter that the former editor Hájek fell in love with. The father didn't approve and employed Marek as editor when he in a convincing manner presented his plans for the magazine. In due course the new-baked editor let his imagination get the upper hand and he invented new animals and other curiosities from nature. Eventually this raised the attention of the readers and culminated when Jos. M. Kadlčák, the editor of Selský obzor, used an editorial put Marek in his place because he took the liberty to rename the jay to "walnutter". This was the final straw and Fuchs was so agitated that he crept under a pool table and three days later he died from meningitis.

Background

Fuchs (born Siegfried Fuchs) was a Czech animal breeder, livestock trader and publisher/editor of Jewish origin. He is best known as owner and publisher of the magazine Svět zvířat and it is in this context his name is known to readers of The Good Soldier Švejk.

Renowned expert

His name appears in national newspapers from 1894 and onwards in connection with rabbit-breeding and he was at the time operating from Jičín. He offered rabbits for sale in Prager Tagblatt, Prager Abendblatt, Das interessante Blatt and others.

In connection with the international agricultural fair in Prague in 1897 Wiener Landwirtschaftliche Zeitung from 19 May 1897 mentions him as "the renowned rabbit breeder from Jičín". During the same exhibition he won an award in the poultry category and in May 1898 he was a member of the executive committee of a society that arranged a poultry exhibition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Emperor's reign. In 1899 he co-founded of the Country association for breeding of luxury dogs in Bohemia where he also acted as manager.

Antisemitism

Fuchs won several awards for his contribution to rabbit- poultry- and dog-breeding. According to some newspapers he was in 1908 even awarded Kaiserlicher Rat (a honorary title without much practical significance). The announcement caused some reactions, mainly in the Catholic press. According to Salzburger Kronik "he did not deserve it", and Čech lamented that "yet another Jew had received the award". Similar anti semitic writing was very common at the time, in Czech as well as German newspapers. Still the newspapers were probably wrong regarding the award itself. In a death notice about his father 9 March 1909 only the brother Ludvík uses the title Kaiserlicher Rat and Václav is simply listed as editor in chief of Svět zvířat.

Publisher, author and dog breeder
fuchsv.png

Wiener Landwirtschaftliche Zeitung, 20.11.1897.

During the autumn of 1897 the monthly magazine Svět zvířat was launched in Jičín. At the beginning Fuchs was not alone in running the magazine but the next year he brought a large villa above the Klamovka park and moved there together with his family. Here he also relocated the editorial offices of the periodical that now became a bi-weekly.

From now on he was sole proprietor and the villa also housed his dog breeding and trading enterprise. Fuchs advertised diligently in the newspapers, both for the dog trade and for the magazine. As publisher of a Czech language magazine he obviously targeted Czech readers, but his dog trade also advertised intensively in German newspapers like Prager Tagblatt and Bohemia, often using the brand Hundepark Fuchs. See Psinec nad Klamovkou for more about the breeding kennel.

Fuchs also wrote the books Všecky druhy psů slovem i obrazem (All dog breeds in words and pictures) (1903), Všeobecný slovník rad pro každého (General encyclopaedia with advice for everyone) (1906). The latter was a heavy publication of near 1400 pages, but the scope extends well beyond the subject of animals. That said he was first and foremost known as chief editor and dog breeder.

Fuchs and Hašek
zvirat0.png

Svět zvířat, 15.8.1910.

I 1908 Fuchs employed a new editor, Jaroslav Hašek's friend Hájek. It was through this connection that Hašek was introduced to Klamovka and the animal magazine. In the beginning he only assisted in the editorial offices, but Hájek fell out with his boss and moved to Poděbrady to assume the role of managing editor of Nezávislost (Independence). Hašek was now offered the position as lead editor (he is registered as resident of the villa on 4 February 1909) and in the beginning it worked out well. The job was well paid (it also included 2 litres of beer per day) and this made Hašek capable of feeding a family and he married on 23 May 1910.

The newly wed moved out of the villa and down to Smíchov nr. 1125 at the other side of the Klamovka park. According to Hájek the enthusiasm that Fuchs initially had showed for his inventive editor now waned seriously. Hašek was less seen in the editorial offices and readers started to compain about dubious articles. In his predicament Fuchs travelled to Poděbrady in order to convince Hájek to return to the office as replacement for Hašek. He succeeded in his mission and in the issue of Svět zvířat from 15 October 1910, Hájek was again listed as chief editor. His departure from Nezávislost was announced by himself 12 November.

Shit packet post mortem
fuchsmp.png

From "Strana mírného pokroku"

© LA-PNP

Hašek did through his alter ego Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek a lot to make Fuchs and Svět zvířat known to future generations. Not only does he mention the magazine and its owner in The Good Soldier Švejk, Fuchs is also mentioned in Strana mírného pokroku v mezích zákona. If Fuchs is presented in a matter-of-fact way in the novel, the less he is in the story of the Party of Moderate Progress where he is the victim of a resounding shit packet.

The now deceased lead publisher allegedly "had himself baptised to promote his business", made a living from animals as well as people, was a terrible employer and not particularly intelligent, shouted and swore, was good at appearing as someone he wasn't. He was overall fully qualified for a career as a politician. The books that Fuchs published in 1903 and 1906 are claimed to have been direct translations from German, carried out by then editor of the magazine, Karel Ladislav Kukla. It was also claimed that he was a Young Czech (see Mladočeši) and had borrowed money to buy a car.

Hájek narrates
fuchs.png

Z mých vzpomínek na Jaroslava Haška, Ladislav Hájek, 1925

A person who knew Fuchs well was Hájek who in two periods edited his magazine. Hájek describes his boss as a good man but nervous by nature. He had identified the young writer and editor as a suitable husband for his daughter Žofie and someone who could eventually manage Svět zvířat. All his wishes were fulfilled but only after Fuchs's death. Otherwise Hájek writes that his boss was to keen in entangling him in the management of the enterprise, and frequently pulled him off to Prague when he'd rather spend time with Žofie. This led to the mentioned break-up that resulted in Hájek moving to Poděbrady, and he was even prohibited from seeing Žofie. Their relationship was only repaired when Fuchs in the autumn of 1910 was exasperated by Hašek's whims, travelled with his daughter to Poděbrady and begged Hájek to return.

Family relations
fuchsvojtech.png

Národní listy, 9.3.1909.

Siegfried Fuchs was born as the first of seven siblings in Hořice (okres Jičín), son of Abraham (1830-1909) and Elenora, neé Kohn (1833-1907). In 1882 he left the Mosaic faith and was from now registered without confession. On 17 October 1882 he married Marie Chválovská (born 1861, Roman-Catholic) in a civilian ceremony in Jičín. The name Václav is not registered in the birth records, nor in his marriage record, so he must have changed his first name after 1882. The couple had three children: Marie(1885), Žofie (1894) and Václav (1895).

fuchs_dead.jpg

Venkov, 28.9.1911.

The family was from 26 December 1898 listed with address Smíchov No. 908 that indeed was villa Svět zvířat above Klamovka. The parents (father Abraham no called himself Vojtěch/Adalbert) and the youngest brother Diego moved there at the same time. They remained for around six months but the father moved back in 1908 after becoming widowed.

By 1909 the six remaining siblings apparently enjoyed a solid middle class existence (Anna had died). The brother Diego (1876-1941) owned a known gramophone- and instrument factory at Václavské náměstí, Ludvík managed a sugar factory, Evžen ran his own antique trade, Alois was a tradesman and Marie married to a lawyer. The daughter Žofie married Hájek 5 October 1912, at the time editor in Svět zvířat and from 1913 owner and publisher of the magazine.

Fuchs passed away only 54 years old and several newspapers printed notices about his death. The immediate cause was arteriosclerosis and cardiac arrest, the body was cremated in Zittau in Germany, just across the border with Bohemia (at the time Austria did now allow cremation).

Jaroslav Šerák

V matrikách narozených farnost Hořice jsem žádného Fuchse neobjevil. Žádný Fuchs není ani v indexu. Takže Fuchs se jako židovské dítě asi narodil, ale později se víry vzdal, protože jsem objevil zápis o sňatku a tam je uveden jako Siegfried a bez náboženství. Manželka Marie Chválovská byla katolička, tak možná později přistoupil ke křesťanství. Sňatek měli jen úřední, světský, nikoliv církevní. Neměl to s náboženstvím lehké. Je to vidět na těch antisemitských výpadech v novinách. Proto asi volil pohřeb žehem, aby nebyl pohřben ani jako křesťan, ani jako žid. Také sedí v záznamu o sňatku i datum narození 14.3 .1857.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Jak jsem se vlastně stal kdysi redaktorem ,Světa zvířat’, onoho velice zajímavého časopisu, bylo pro mne nějaký čas hádankou dosti složitou do té doby, kdy jsem sám přišel k tomu názoru, že jsem to mohl provést jen ve stavu naprosto nepříčetném, ve kterém jsem byl sveden přátelskou láskou ku starému kamarádovi Hájkovi, který redigoval do té doby poctivě časopis, ale zamiloval se přitom do dcerušky majitele časopisu pana Fuchse, který ho vyhnal na hodinu pod tou podmínkou, že mu zaopatří redaktora pořádného.
[II.3] ,Kvíčale se má říkat jalovečník nebo jalovice, pane šéf,` podotkl jsem, ,poněvadž se živí jalovcem.` Pan Fuchs uhodil novinami o stůl a vlezl pod kulečník, chroptě ze sebe poslední slova, která přečetl: ,Turdus, kolohříbek. - Žádná sojka,` řval pod kulečníkem, ,ořešník, koušu, pánové!` Byl konečně vytažen a na třetí den skonal v rodinném kruhu na mozkovou chřipku.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák, Ladislav Hájek

Literature

Fuchsová, Žofienn flag
*26.8.1894 Jičín - †4.10.1919 Praha
Search Švejkův slovník
hajek.png

Žofie Hájková, Ladislav Hájek, Jaroslav Hašek.

Lázně Poděbrady, 21.5.1913.

fuchsova.png

Wedding announcement

Národní listy, 25.9.1912.

Fuchsová is mentioned indirectly by Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek when he on the train from Budějovice to Bruck an der Leitha relates his experiences as editor of the magazine Svět zvířat. She is referred to as the daughter of the magazine's owner, Mr. Fuchs.

Background

Žofie Fuchsová was the daughter of Mr. Fuchs, the owner of Svět zvířat. In 1912 she married Hájek, then editor of the magazine. These circumstances confirm beyond doubt that it is her that Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek refers to in The Good Soldier Švejk.

She was born in 1894[a], presumably in Jičín, and was only 4 when the family moved to Klamovka from where her father managed Svět zvířat and the associated kennel. In 1908 she got aquainted with Hájek, then editor of the magazine, and on 5 October 1912 the two married in the church Svatý Václav in Smíchov[c].

Soon after the wedding the young couple moved to Ferdinandova třída (now Národní) from where her husband published the magazine. For a period Hašek also stayed with them and according to Hájek she was fond of the future author of The Good Soldier Švejk[b]. Little is known about her life thereafter but according to Břetislav Hůla she committed suicide "years ago"[d].

Research by Jaroslav Šerák confirms that he she shot herself in the head on 4 October 1919. She was only 25 years old when she died. We don't know if the couple had any children.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Jak jsem se vlastně stal kdysi redaktorem ,Světa zvířat’, onoho velice zajímavého časopisu, bylo pro mne nějaký čas hádankou dosti složitou do té doby, kdy jsem sám přišel k tomu názoru, že jsem to mohl provést jen ve stavu naprosto nepříčetném, ve kterém jsem byl sveden přátelskou láskou ku starému kamarádovi Hájkovi, který redigoval do té doby poctivě časopis, ale zamiloval se přitom do dcerušky majitele časopisu pana Fuchse, který ho vyhnal na hodinu pod tou podmínkou, že mu zaopatří redaktora pořádného.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák, Ladislav Hájek, Břetislav Hůla

References
aPobytové přihlášky pražského policejního ředitelstvíNAČR1851 - 1914
bZ mých vzpomínek na Jaroslava HaškaLadislav Hájek1925
cSňatekNárodní listy25.9.1912
dSňatekBřetislav Hůla, LA-PNP14.12.1948
Brehm, Alfred Edmundnn flag
*2.2.1829 Unterrenthendorf - †11.11.1884 Renthendorf
Wikipedia czdeenno Search
brehm.png

Tages-Post, 2.12.1876.

thierleben.png

Brehms Thierleben, A.E. Brehm, 1876.

garrulus.jpg

Jay (garrulus glandarius)

Brehms Tierleben, 4. Band, 1891.

Brehm enters the plot when Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek relates his experiences from his time as editor of Svět zvířat. All the references to Brehm in The Good Soldier Švejk pertain to his magnum opus Brehm's Life of Animals rather than his person.

Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek used, for instance, invented quotes from Brehm in his zoological polemic with Jos. M. Kadlčák, the editor of Selský obzor.

Brehm is mentioned 8 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Background

Brehm was a prominent German zoologist, explorer and writer. Through the multi-volume reference work Brehms Tierleben (Brehm's Life of Animals), his name became a synonym for popular zoological literature. Brehm was a son of a distinguished ornithologist and already as an 18 year old he took part in an expedition to Egypt and the upper Nile (1847-1852), and later he undertook expeditions to Spain, Norway and Siberia. He published books about his expeditions and also went on tours where he lectured about his travels and discoveries. From 1862 to 1867 he was director of the zoo in Hamburg and later he founded the well-known aquarium in Berlin where he remained until 1874. Brehm was married and the father of five children.

Brehms Tierleben

It was however his publishing of the zoological reference work that would make him famous. The first edition, containing six volumes, was published from 1864 to 1869 with the title Illustrirtes Tierleben. From 1876 to 1879 the second edition followed, expanded to 10 volumes, with new illustrations and now titled Brehms Thierleben[1]. Mammals and birds were described in three volumes each, and fish, insects, reptiles and invertebrate in one volume each. The volumes contained 1945 illustrations[a].

The 2nd edition was translated into many languages. The first translation into Czech was published from 1882 to 1990 by publisher Otto. Various translators were involved and one of them was Doctor Bayer who translated the volume on fish and other maritime animals. The third edition was printed from 1890 to 1893 and was the first that appeared after Brehm's death. The differences from the 2nd edition were relatively few. This edition was also translated into Czech and still published by Otto.

Garrulus glandarius

A central part of Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek's polemics with Jos. M. Kadlčák is the jay (garrulus glandarius), a bird in the raven family that lives on the Eurasian continent. Marek is remarkably precise when he refers to page 452, because in Brehms Tierleben, volume 4, this is indeed the page where the description of jays commences (3rd edition German version). This strongly indicates that Hašek based the details in The Good Soldier Švejk on the German original and not a Czech translation where it is unlikely that the description is on that very page. The bird itself is pictured on page 454. Whether Hašek had "Brehm" available when he wrote this passage at Lipnice or simply remembered such details is open to speculation but given his unusually good memory even the latter would be no surprise...

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Vtom mne přerušil a optal se, zdali znám drůbežnictví: psy, králíky, včelařství, rozmanitosti ze světa zvířat, vystřihovat z cizích žurnálů obrázky k reprodukci, překládat z cizozemských žurnálů odborné články o zvířatech, umím-li listovat v Brehmovi a mohl-li bych s ním psát úvodníky ze života zvířat se zabarvením katolických svátků, změny ročních počasí, dostih, honů, výchovy policejních psů, národních i církevních svátků, zkrátka mít situační novinářský přehled a využitkovat ho v krátkém obsažném úvodníčku.
[II.3] Přibývala mně nová zvířata každým dnem. Sám byl jsem velice překvapen mými úspěchy v těchto oborech. Nikdy jsem si nepomyslil, že je třeba zvířenu tak silně doplnit a že Brehm tolik zvířat mohl vynechat ve svém spise ,Život zvířat’. Věděl Brehm a všichni ti, kteří šli po něm, o mém netopýrovi z ostrova Islandu, ,netopýru vzdáleném’, o mé kočce domácí z vrcholku hory Kilimandžaro pod názvem ,pačucha jelení dráždivá’?
[II.3] Poslal jsem dopis, ve kterém jsem celou svou theorii vyložil o ořešníku, propletaje dopis četnými nadávkami a vymyšlenými citáty z Brehma.
[II.3] Sojka zůstane sojkou, i kdyby se redaktor ,Světa zvířa’ z toho podě..l, a zůstane to jen dokladem, jak lehkomyslně a nevěcně se leckdys píše, byť by se i on dovolával Brehma nápadně neurvale. Ten sprosťák píše, že sojka patří podle Brehma do čeledi krokodýlovitých, str. 452, kde se mluví o ťuhýku čili strakoši obecném (Lanius minor L.). Pak se tento ignorant, smím-li to jeho jméno zdrobnit, dovolává opět Brehma, že sojka patří do čeledi patnácté, a Brehm havranovité počítá do čeledi sedmnácté, k nimž druží se havrani, rod kavek, a jest tak sprostý, že i mne nazval kavkou (Colaeus) s rodem strak, vran modrých, podčeledí blbounů nejapných, ačkoliv na téže stránce jedná se o sojkách hájních a strakách pestrých...’
Notes
1. Note the change inGerman ortography, probably introduced at the end of the 19th century: Thierleben -> Tierleben.

Literature

References
aBrehms ThierlebenNeue Freie Presse14.12.1879
Engineer Kún, Vilémnn flag
*1877 Nosislav - †1934
Search Švejkův slovník
khun2.jpg

Pestrý týden, 17.11.1928

khun1.png

Pozor, 23.8.1913

khun.png

Adresář ..., 1910

Kún is mentioned through "engineer Khúns flea", one of Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek's many zoological inventions at Svět zvířat. The discovery was reported in good faith by Čech but ridiculed by Čas (realist party) and it led to a heated debate.

Background

Kún was a long time friend of Jaroslav Hašek. He was an engineer, just as the author states. He was also an editor and translator. They had met through the author's acquaintance with students from the technical high school at Karlovo náměstí.

He was also member of Strana mírného pokroku v mezích zákona (Party of Limited Progress Within the Bounds of Law). A curiosity is that his home address in 1910 was in the same building as Bendlovka.

Palaeopsylla Kuniana

It was on 17 August 1913 that the Catholic daily Čech printed a short note about "the geologist engineer Kun who not long ago discovered a flea from ancient times in a piece of amber". The discovery happened by Královec[1], the flea was blind, and was named Palaeopsylla Kuniana after the man who discovered it.

The first to unravel the story of Kun's flea was Social-Democratic Právo lidu who om 19 August that this was printed in Svět zvířat (The Animal World) during fasting time four years ago and that the "inventor" of the flea was the humorist Jaroslav Hašek. They observed drily "a new development i Catholic science and that Čech that previously drew knowledge from the Holy Scriptures now turned to The Animal World". The article in Právo lidu was reproduced in several newspapers and one of them was the Realist Party paper Čas on the 21st. This seems to have alerted Čech as they provided an irate response on 22 August. The similarities to Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek's story are thus obvious. The flea-story was even printed in USA where it appeared in several Czech-language newspapers, amongst them Minnesotské noviny on 11 September 1913.

Even though the episode that Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek tell about no doubt is inspired by Hašek's experiences as editor of Svět zvířat there are also some differences. The debate between Čech and Čas took place three years after Hašek quit as editor and can as such not have contributed to him losing the job. Nor is it true that Čech wrote that "what God does he does well". The original article in Svět zvířat has to our knowledge never been identified but to judge by the timing information from Právo lidu "at masopust (Lenten period) four years ago" it must have been written in early 1909.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Měli do té doby přírodozpytci zdání o nějaké bleše inženýra Khúna, kterou jsem našel v jantaru a která byla úplně slepá, poněvadž žila na podzemním praehistorickém krtkovi, který také byl slepý, poněvadž jeho prababička se spářila, jak jsem psal, s podzemním slepým macarátem jeskynním z Postojenské jeskyně, která v té době zasahovala až na nynější Baltický oceán?

Sources: Radko Pytlík, Jaroslav Šerák, Václav Menger

Also written:Khún Hašek

Notes
1. Královec is the Czech name of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad), a city by the Baltic Sea.

Literature

Beekeeper Pazourek, Karelnn flag
*1858/1859 - †17.5.1913 Čestice
Search
pazourek1.png

Český včelař, 15.10.1897.

pazourek.png

Český včelař, 15.6.1913.

Pazourek was a well know bee-keeper who was hit by a stroke when he read Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek's advice on bee-keeping in Svět zvířat.

Background

Pazourek almost certainly refers to Karel Pazourek, a beekeeping expert and head teacher from Čestice in hejtmanství Hradec Králové. Various newspaper clips and adverts reveal that he was active in beekeeping associations and travelled around to give lectures and hold courses on the subject.

A well-known beekeeper

Little is known about the life of Pazourek but his name appeared in connection with beekeeping already in 1897[a]. Otherwise, we know that he died in May 1913 at the age of 54, was a family father and was well known amongst bee-keepers. Apart from doing lectures and courses he also wrote for specialist magazines like Český včelař (The Czech Beekeeper) and significantly Svět zvířat and this is surely where Hašek came across his name. The claim by Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek that he died from a stroke seems not to be true as Pazourek was seriously ill in March but died in May[b].

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Původ k tomu daly mé různé drobné zprávy o včelařství, drůbežnictví, kde jsem rozvinul své nové theorie, které způsobily pravé zděšení, poněvadž po mých jednoduchých radách ranila známého včelaře pana Pazourka mrtvice a vyhynulo včelaření na Šumavě i v Podkrkonoší.

Literature

References
aXIV. sjezd včelařů Česko-slov. v České SkaliciČeský včelař15.10.1897
bÚmrtíČeský včelař15.6.1913
Deputy Kadlčák, Josef M.nn flag
*15.11.1856 Březnice - †27.4.1924 Praha
Wikipedia cz Search
kadlcak.jpg

Politický kalendář občanský a adresář zemí koruny České, 1911.

kadlcak.png

Čech, 28.4.1924.

Jos. M. Kadlčák is mentioned by Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek when he relates his experiences as editor of Svět zvířat.

Background

Jos. M. Kadlčák was a teacher, editor and conservative politician from Moravia who from 1907 served as Reichsrat deputy for the Catholic National Party. From 1907 (or earlier) until 1911 he was editor of the monthly Selský obzor (Farming Horizon), an activity he undertook from Frýdlant nad Ostravicí where he lived from 1886 to 1919[a]. In Czechoslovakia he continued his political career and at the time of his death in 1924 he was deputy chairman of the Czechoslovak Senate.

Dispute with Hašek

Due to the many similarities between Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek from The Good Soldier Švejk and Jaroslav Hašek regarding their respective careers as editors of Svět zvířat, we must assume that the dispute between Marek and Jos. M. Kadlčák to a degree is inspired by Hašek's own experiences at the magazine.

It is an indisputed fact that Jos. M. Kadlčák edited Selský obzor at the time when Hašek edited Svět zvířat (1909 and 1910) and that he indeed was a clerical parliamentary deputy as Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek says. That Country Life at the time printed pictures of jays is also a foregone conclusion and it is very likely that Svět zvířat did so as well.

On the other hand we can rule out that Selský obzor printed any editorial or other articles that took issue with Hašek and his renaming of the jay to "walnutter". So when Hašek wrote The Good Soldier Švejk he probably "mystified his own mystification" to some degree. Thus it would be careless to assume that Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek's experiences fully reflected those of Hašek. That said there is definitely a core of truth in the story, but it would require a systematic investigation of both Country Life and Svět zvířat to shed more light on this question.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Vrhl jsem se na ptáky žijící na svobodě a ještě dnes se pamatuji na svou affairu s redaktorem ,Selského obzoru’, klerikálním poslancem ředitelem Jos. M. Kadlčákem! Vystřihl jsem z anglického časopisu ,Country Life’ obrázek nějakého ptáčka, který seděl na ořechu. Dal jsem mu název ořešník, stejně jako bych se nijak logicky nerozpakoval napsat, že pták sedící na jalovci je jalovník, případně jalovice. I co se nestalo. Na obyčejném korespondenčním lístku napadl mne pan Kadlčák, že prý je to sojka a žádný ořešník, a že prý je to překlad Eichelhäher. Poslal jsem dopis, ve kterém jsem celou svou theorii vyložil o ořešníku, propletaje dopis četnými nadávkami a vymyšlenými citáty z Brehma. Poslanec Kadlčák odpověděl v ,Selském obzoru’ úvodním článkem.

Literature

References
aWer ist wer: Kadlčák, JosefRepublik Österreich - Parlament
Doctor Bayer, Františeknn flag
*15.5.1854 Mšené - †5.4.1936 Praha
Wikipedia ru Search
bayer.png

Zlatá Praha, 15.5.1914.

sojka_b.png

"Naši ptáci", Fr. Bayer, 1888.

bayer1.png

"Naši ptáci", Fr. Bayer, 1888.

Bayer is mentioned by Jos. M. Kadlčák in his dispute with Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek about jays (Ganulus glandarius B) and nutcrackers (Mucifraga carycatectes B). Marek maintained that 'B' meant blb (idiot) whereas it probably refers to the initial letter of Bayer.

Background

Bayer was a Czech zoologist, ornitologist and paleontologist, author of a number of scientific works. Amongst them was the popular science book Naši ptáci (Our birds), published in 1886 and 1888[a]. He also translated Brehm's "Tierleben" (Animal Life) (3rd volume)[c] and wrote a number of entries for Ottův slovník naučný. Bayer was a highly respected scientist and by 1914 held the formal title as government advisor.

Naši ptáci

As mentioned the book "Our birds" was published in 1886 and 1888 and was a leading reference work in ornithology. It is this book that Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek refers to when he quotes Jos. M. Kadlčák about the jay (sojka), a bird that was described on page 148. Indeed the jay is described on this page. Then on page 150 the nutcracker (ořešník) follows. Bayer uses the latin terms corvus glandarius, L. and corvus caryocatactes, L. On the other hand the Latin terms that Marek used seem to be twisted variations of those used by Brehm and are unvisersally recognised: Garrulus ganulus and Nucifraga caryocatactes.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Čtu spokojeně dál, nedaje se přerušovat. ,Je to darebáctví, když se to děje od neodborníků a surovců. Kdo kdy říkal sojce ořešník? V díle Naši ptáci na straně 148 jest latinský název: Ganulus glandarius B. A., je ten můj pták - sojka. Redaktor vašeho listu zajisté uzná, že znám lépe svého ptáka, než ho může znát neodborník. Ořešník se nazývá podle dra Bayera Mucifraga carycatectes B., a to ,b’ neznamená, jak mně psal váš redaktor, že je to začáteční písmeno slova ,blb’. Čeští ptakopisci znají vůbec jenom sojku obecnou, nikoliv vašeho žaludníka, kterého vynašel právě ten pán, na kterého patří začáteční písmeno ,B’ podle jeho theorie. To jest neurvalý osobní nájezd, který na věci nic nezmění.

Literature

References
aKnihy redakci Lumíra zaslanéLumír20.9.1886
bNaši ptáciDr. František Bayer1888
cŽivot zvířatNárodní listy8.11.1889
Mestek, Ferdinandnn flag
*17.3.1858 Praha - †16.6.1916 Praha
Search Švejkův slovník
mestek_kukla.png

Noční Prahou, K.L. Kukla, 1927.

mestek5.png

Prager Tagblatt, 15.12.1907.

mestek4.png

Národní politika, 17.1.1914.

mestek1.png

Bohemia, 5.7.1914.

mestek3.png

Lidové noviny, 18.6.1916.

mestek2.png

Letem světem, 30.4.1935.

Mestek is mentioned when Švejk's provides a counterpoint to Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek's tale about his experiences as editor of Svět zvířat, where the theme is that anyone can make mistakes. In this case Mestek was the one who made the mistake. He claimed to have discovered a mermaid who he subsequently exhibited in a window in Havlíčkova třída in Vinohrady. The "mermaid" was a woman frå Žižkov who after finishing her daily performance as mermaid was seen soliciting in Táborská ulice. The lady didn't have a police book and when Polizeikommissar Drašner discovered this she was locked up and Mestek's mermaid business came to an end.

Background

Mestek was a city character and household name in Prague, a man with an extremely diverse career and who even caught the attention of some prominent writers. Amongst these were Jaroslav Hašek and Egon Erwin Kisch.

City character

Ferdinand Mestek was born in 1858 in a house opposite Emauzský klášter, son of a tailor from Mníšek[a] and one of four siblings. From 1888 he is listed in the police records, as for instance "gold worker" and "pub landlord", descriptions that don't cover his extremely varied activities. He had a number of professions (impresario, circus director, flea circus owner, pub landlord) but they were rarely executed with fortune.

One example is a short appointment at the workshop of the firm Eduard Lokesch & Son (see Artur Lokesch), where we has employed after claiming knowledge of gold. The hollowness of the claim was quickly exposed and the working relation was terminated (Egon Erwin Kisch).

In 1907 he was on a long tour that included Maribor, Vienna, Brno, Olomouc and Innsbruck. One of the attractions was the lady Lona who was exhibited suspended in the air. Mestek was married to Anna, but his wife died in 1909 at an age of 44.

In literature

His major claim to fame is his part in the mildly ironic story Dramaturgie des Flohtheaters by Egon Erwin Kisch. It was printed in Kisch's book Die Abenteuer in Prag[g] from 1920[g]. It is largely a largely a reprint of three stories about Mestek that Kisch published in Bohemia in the summer of 1914[h][i][j]. Kisch also wrote a play about Mestek in 1925 and staged it at the Rokoko Theatre at Václavské náměstí. The main character was played by Vlasta Burian (1891-1962)[d], a comedian and actor who also have played Švejk.

Hašek also knew Mestek in person and his name appears in a couple of short stories printed in Tribuna during the spring of 1921. These were Tři muži se žralokem[b] and Reelní podnik[c], both written a few months before Mestek was introduced to the readers of The Good Soldier Švejk. The latter was in 1975 filmed with Miloš Kopecký playing Mestek.

Jaroslav Hašek and Egon Erwin Kisch were not the only ones who wrote about Mestek. Both Jan Neruda and Jakub Arbes had already "discovered" him and thus added him to the Czech literary heritage. Karel Ladislav Kukla also wrote about him and revealed that Mestek actually exhibited mermaids, albeit stuffed[e]. Whether or not this happened in Havlíčkova třída like Švejk claims has not been verified.

Obituaries

Mestek was a well known character in Prague, even to the extent that most major newspapers printed sympathetic obituaries when he died form tuberculosis in 1916. Amongst them were Bohemia, Národní politika, Prager Tagblatt, and Lidové noviny. In the latter Eduard Bass even wrote a longer tribute to him[f].

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Jednou před lety byl v Praze nějakej Mestek a ten vobjevil mořskou pannu a ukazoval ji na Havlíčkově třídě na Vinohradech za plentou. Ve plentě byl otvor a každej moh vidět v takovej polotmě prachvobyčejný kanape a na něm se válela jedna ženská ze Žižkova.
[II.3] V sedumhodin večer pak Mestek zavřel panorámu a řek: ,Mořská panno, můžete jít domů,` vona se převlíkla a v deset večer už ji bylo vidět chodit po Táborskej ulici a zcela nenápadně každýmu pánovi, kterýho potkala, říkat: ,Hezoune, šel si to zafilipínkovat.` Poněvadž neměla knížku, tak ji při šťáře s druhejma podobnejma myšema pan Drašner zavřel, a Mestek měl po kšeftě."

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák, Egon Erwin Kisch, Jaroslav Hašek

Literature

References
aFerda Mestek de PodskalJaroslav Šerák
bTři muži se žralokemJaroslav Hašek, Tribuna3.4.1921
cReelní podnikJaroslav Hašek, Tribuna8.5.1921
dJak si Ferda Mestek de Podskal obšlápnul koncesi na bleši divadloTribuna7.5.1925
eNoční PrahouK. L. Kukla1927
fFerda Mestek de PodskalEduard Bass, Lidové noviny28.6.1916
gDramaturgie des FlohtheatersEgon Erwin Kisch1920
hFerda Mestek de PodskalEgon Erwin Kisch, Bohemia21.6.1914
iMestek sucht personalEgon Erwin Kisch, Bohemia5.7.1914
jAus den Geheimnissen eines FlohtheatersEgon Erwin Kisch, Bohemia19.7.1914
Dantenn flag
*1265 Firenze - †14.9.1321 Ravenna
Wikipedia czdeenitno Search

Dante is mentioned by Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek on the train to Bruck an der Leitha. He ridicules the escorting corporal who he compares to a Dante character.

Background

Dante was a famous Italian poet of the Middle Ages. His La divina commedia, is often considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature. Dante is also recognised as the father of the Italian language.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „Pane desátníku,“ řekl jednoroční dobrovolník, „vy mně připomínáte nyní, jak sledujete šumné hory a vonné lesy, postavu Danta. Týž ušlechtilý obličej básníka, muže srdce a ducha jemného, přístupného šlechetnému hnutí. Zůstaňte, prosím vás, tak sedět, tak pěkně vám to sluší.
Sculptor Štursa, Jannn flag
*15.5.1880 Nové Město na Moravě - †2.5.1925 Praha
Wikipedia czdeen Search
stursa.jpg

Štursa as soldier in IR. 81

Světozor, 13.11.1914.

stursa2.png

Pilsner Tagblatt, 31.12.1916.

stursa.png

Kuděj meeting Hašek - Štursa was present

© LA-PNP

Štursa is mentioned by Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek as he wonders if the escort corporal on the train to Bruck an der Leitha ever stood model for the sculptor Štursa.

Background

Štursa is regarded as one of the founders of modern Czech sculpture. He studied at k.k. Kunstakademie from 1899 to 1904 and was employed there from 1908[b]. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he was called up and sent to the front with Infanterieregiment Nr. 81 (Jihlava). Due to a damaged hand he was deemed unfit for carrying arms, and served as an officer's servant and other auxiliary duties, amongst them assisting at funerals. The latter activity was later reflected in his art. In 1916 he was released from service and could resume his career, now as a professor at the art academy[b]. Štursa committed suicide in 1945, allegedly due depression related to syphilis.

Acquaintance of Hašek

Jaroslav Hašek knew Štursa in person as he frequented the same circles as the author of The Good Soldier Švejk. Zdeněk Matěj Kuděj recalled that the sculptor was present at Montmartre on the day that Hašek and Kuděj met for the first time (in 1909 at the earliest)[a].

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „Dovolte, pane desátníku, nestál jste snad modelem sochaři Štursovi?“ Desátník podíval se na jednoročního dobrovolníka a řekl smutně: „Nestál.“

Literature

References
aJaroslav Hašek spisovatel a člověkZdeněk M. Kuděj
bK.k. KunstakademiePrager Abendblatt5.6.1908
Doctor Mráznn flag
Search

Mráz was a reserve officer, in civilian life a teacher of maths at a technical college. He was commander of the troop transport train between Budějovice and Bruck an der Leitha and led the inspection patrol who in the arrestee car encountered an unexpected passenger, the snoring Feldoberkurat Lacina.

Background

The list of officers from Infanterieregiment Nr. 91 does not contain any Mráz but it should be noted that the surname (it means "frost") is widespread in southern Bohemia where this regiment was recruited from. In the address book for Prague for 1910 only two are listed, where one of them actually had a doctor title. This was however in the subject of law, not in mathematics[a].

Interesting is a note by xxxx about an episode that took place in Budějovice in 1915. Hašek was offered to stay in the flat of some H. Mráz who was about to serve two weeks in the arrest.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Do vagonu vstoupila inspekce. Velitelem vojenského vlaku byl štábem naznačen reservní důstojník doktor Mráz. Na takové hloupé služby vždy házeli reservní důstojníky. Doktor Mráz byl z toho jelen. Nemohl se dopočítat pořád jednoho vagonu, ačkoliv byl v civilu profesorem matematiky na reálném gymnasiu.
Fredynn flag
Search

Fredy is mentioned by the drowsy Feldoberkurat Lacina as he is woken up by Doctor Mráz' inspection. It is possible that he recognised Mráz, who thus carries the first name Bedřich (Friedrich).

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Desátník obrátil po delší námaze vrchního polního kuráta naznak, přičemž se ten probudil, a vida důstojníka před sebou, řekl: „Eh, servus, Fredy, was gibt’s neues? Abendessen schon fertig?“ Zamhouřil opět oči a obrátil se k stěně.
Supák Schreiternn flag
Search

Schreiter was a junior officer who Švejk had a conflict with when doing his national service. Schreiter had called the soldiers railway watchmen, a description Švejk, as a soldier serving the Emperor objected to. He complained to the company commander, it was passed on to the battalion and finally to the regiment. Schreiter in the end had to apologize to Švejk in front of the officers.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „Já vám něco povím, pane kaprál,“ poznamenal Švejk, „já už jsem starej voják, sloužil jsem před válkou, a vono se to vždycky s těma nadávkama nevyplácí. Když jsem tenkrát sloužil před léty, pamatuju se, že u nás byl u kumpanie nějakej supák Schreiter. Von sloužil za supu; moh jít už jako kaprál dávno domů, ale byl, jak se říká, uhozenej.
Konsul Prochaska, Oskarnn flag
*12.7.1876 Brno - †?
Search
prochaska.jpg

Rozkvět, 10.12.1912.

Prochaska is mentioned in Švejk's story from his time doing National Service in 1912. He was accused of having written "We'll shit on the war" on a wall by a munitions dump. Švejk was taken to the Landesgericht in Terezín because of this incident.

Background

Prochaska was Austrian consul in Prizren (Ottoman Kosovo) in 1912. He was arrested by Serb troops occupying Prizren during the first Balkans War and accused of inciting the local Albanian population to resisting the invaders. Claims in the Austrian press that he was mistreated were unfounded, but the incident led to a major diplomatic crisis. The conflict was resolved when an initiative from Neue Freie Presse got the facts on the table. Prochaska was released in January 1913, and later that year he took up the position of councillor in Rio de Janeiro. Lev Trotsky was an eye-witness to the Serb capture of Prizren but does not comment on the Prochascka-affair.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Nešťastnou náhodou ještě nad tím nápisem byl jinej: ,My na vojnu nepůjdeme, my se na ni vyséreme’, a to bylo v roce 1912, když jsme měli jít do Srbska kvůli tomu konsulovi Procházkovi. Tak mě hned poslali do Terezína k landgerichtu.

Also written:Oskár Procházka cz

Literature

Škvor, Františeknn flag
Search

František Škvor is mentioned in a story Švejk tells onthe the train from Budějovice til Királyhida. Škvor was a coal trader who was locked up together with him at c.k. policejní ředitelství at the beginning of the war, was accused of high treason, and was known for his famously nebulous comment when asked if he had objections to the court protocol:

Let things have been as they have been, they have been, nevertheless, one way or another So far it has never been that things wouldn’t be one way or another

Later he appeared before a military court and may have been executed.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Jako jsem znal jednoho uhlíře, kerej byl se mnou zavřenej na začátku války na policejním ředitelství v Praze, nějakej František Škvor, pro velezrádu, a později snad taky vodpravenej kvůli nějakej pragmatickej sankci. Ten člověk, když se ho u vejslechu ptali, jestli má nějaký námitky proti protokolu, řek: ,Aťsi bylo, jak si bylo, přece jaksi bylo, ještě nikdy nebylo, aby jaksi nebylo.’
Reservist Kudrna, Josefnn flag
*1.12.1881 Postřižín - †7.5.1915 Motol
Wikipedia cz Search
kudrna.jpg

K vítězné svobodě 1914-1918, Rudolf Medek, 1928

Kudrna is mentioned by one of the guards on the train to Királyhida. Kudrna was executed at Motol because of an incident where he got upset with a captain who hit his son with a sabre. This happened at the station in Benešov where Kudrna was saying goodbye to his family to join the army.

Background

Kudrna was executed 7 May 1915, accused of taking part in a mutiny in Benešov. He left his wife and seven children behind. The story has been dramatised and filmatised, and in 1935 a book about him was published.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Teď prej toho hodně věšejí a střílejí,“ řekl jeden z mužů eskorty, „nedávno nám četli na execírplace befél, že v Motole vodstřelili záložníka Kudrnu, poněvadž hejtman sekl šavlí jeho chlapečka, kerej byl na ruce u jeho ženy, když se s ním v Benešově chtěla loučit, a von se rozčílil.

Literature

Esaunn flag
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Esau is mentioned by a stupid corporal who is making himself important at the expense of an editor who cleaned his buttons so shoddily that "they were rusty red as Esau".

Background

Esau was son of Rebecca and Isaac in the Book of Genesis. His brother was Jacob, father of the nation of Israel.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Desátník vzdychl: „Ani ty faldy na mantlu neuměl si udělat, až z Prahy si vobjednával vodičky a různý mastě na čistění knoflíků, a přece takovej jeho knoflík vypadal zrzavej jako Ezau.
Koníčeknn flag
Search

Koníček was a soldier from Infanterieregiment Nr. 35 who had stabbed both himself and the drill-sergeant to death, all according to a story by Švejk. He had read about the incident in Kurýr.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „Pro tyhle samý věci, pro takový sekýrování, zapích před léty u pětatřicátýho regimentu nějakej Koníček sebe i kaprála. Bylo to v ,Kurýru’.
Korporal Fialann flag
Search

Fiala was a corporal from Drábovna by Turnov who had his throat slit by his own soldiers in Dalmatia. This is in a story Švejk tells the escort corporal about corporals who got killed by their own men.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Jinej případ byl před léty v Dalmacii, tam kaprála podřezali a dodnes se neví, kdo to udělal. Zůstalo to zahalený v tajnosti, jen se ví tolik, že ten podřezanej kaprál se jmenoval Fiala a byl z Drábovny u Turnova.
Korporal Rejmáneknn flag
Search

Rejmánek was a corporal from Infanterieregiment Nr. 75, part of the same story as Korporal Fiala, which Švejk fails to complete because Lacina wakes up, groaning and farting.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Potom ještě vím o jednom kaprálovi od pětasedmdesátejch, Rejmánkovi...“
Gargantuann flag
Wikipedia deenfrno Search
gargantua.jpg

Gargantua by Gustave Doré, 1873.

Gargantua is mentioned when the author compares the sounds Lacina emits with the sounds of the awakening giant Gargantua.

Background

Gargantua is one of the two main protagonists in a five-volume epic by Rabelais, titled La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel. Gargantua is the father and Pantagruel the son in these stories. It is a satirical work, replete with vulgarities and descriptions of troublesome digestion and its consequences.

au matin, faisoyent davant luy sonner des verres avcques un cousteau, ou des flacons avecques leur toupon, ou des pinthes avecques leur couvercie; auquel son il s'esquayoit, i tressaloit, et luy mesmes se bressoit en dodelinant de la teste, monichordisant des doigtz et baritonant de cul.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Páter se probouzel v celé své kráse a důstojnosti. Jeho probouzení bylo provázeno těmitéž zjevy, jako ranní probuzení mladého obra Gargantuy, jak to popisoval starý veselý Rabelais.
Rabelais, Françoisnn flag
*1483 (1494) Chinon - †9.4.1553 Paris
Wikipedia czdeenfrno Search

Rabelais is mentioned when the author compares the sounds Lacina emits with the sounds of the awakening giant Gargantua. He is referred to as "old merry Rabelais".

Background

Rabelais was a French author known for his world classics The lives of Gargantua and Pantagruel. Jaroslav Hašek has often been compared to Rabelais, an author he obviously had read and been inspired by.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Páter se probouzel v celé své kráse a důstojnosti. Jeho probouzení bylo provázeno těmitéž zjevy, jako ranní probuzení mladého obra Gargantuy, jak to popisoval starý veselý Rabelais.
Marínann flag
Search

Marína appears in a Slovak folk song Švejk sings about a priest. She is from Hodonín. The version Švejk sings seems to be a vulgar variation on the original.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3]
Ide Marína 
od Hodonína,
za ní pan farář
s bečicú vína.
Oberleutnant Kirschnernn flag
Search

Kirschner was a senior lieutenant whose servant Oberleutnant Lukáš had to share when Švejk was on his anabasis or was locked up in Budějovice. The servant of Kirschner neglected Lukáš totally, to the degree that Lukáš was glad to have Švejk back despite his numerous misdeeds.

Background

There were several officers named Kirschner in k.u.k. Heer in 1914 but none of them belonged to units that were garrisoned in Budějovice or with whom Hašek cold have had anything to do.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Jeho situace byla velice nepříjemnou, poněvadž měli prozatím s nadporučíkem Kirschnerem jednoho burše. Chlapík se staral vlastně výhradně jen o svého pána a provozoval úplnou sabotáž, když šlo o nadporučíka Lukáše.
Vaníčeknn flag
Search

Vaníček is mentioned in an anecdote Švejk tells Oberleutnant Lukáš in Vienna when he emphasises that everything that has happened until now has been bad luck, mere divine management as old Vaníček from Pelhřimov said when he had been sentenced for the 36th time.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „Vostudu,“ pokračoval Švejk, „jsem vám jistě nikdy neudělal, jestli se něco stalo, to byla náhoda, pouhý řízení boží, jako říkal starej Vaníček z Pelhřimova, když si vodbejval šestatřicátej trest.
Erzherzog Stephannn flag
*5.9.1860 Židlochovice - †7.4.1933 Żywiec
Wikipedia deensv Search
kstephan.jpg

Karl Stephan, Erzherzog von Österreich

Stephan is said to have honoured the house of pleasure Zum Kukuruzkolben with a visit during the large manoeuvres by Sopron in 1908.

Background

Stephan was over the years the name/title of several people but none of them were alive in 1908 when the army manoeuvres by Sopron supposedly took place. According to Milan Hodík the person in question was Karl Stephan, an Austrian archduke of the House of Habsburg, brother of Erzherzog Friedrich and admiral in k.u.k. Kriegsmarine. Explanations found in the most recent Polish and German translations of The Good Soldier Švejk also mention the possibility. The hypothesis makes some sense but on the other hand it seems strange that a naval officer attended the exercises of the terrestrial armed forces.

Kaisermanövern 1908
manover.png

Illustrierte Kronen-Zeitung, 4.3.1908.

Hašek was however on track when when he referred to the large manoeuvres by Sopron in 1908. That year western Hungary hosted the annual Kaisermanövern and Sopron was indeed one of the sites. The manoeuvres headquarters were located further east, in Hajmáskér by Veszprém. The newspapers reported on the event and reveal that many luminaries attended: Kaiser Franz Joseph I., Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand, Erzherzog Karl Franz Joseph, Feldmarschall Conrad, Erzherzog Friedrich etc. Franz Ferdinand headed the manoeuvres that took place from 15 to 18 September 1908. On the other hand Karl Stephan is not mentioned and we shall soon discover why.

Engagement celebration
radziwill.jpg

Karl Stephan's "alibi", his future son-in-law.

Österreichische Illustrierte Zeitung, 6.9.1908.

Based on other news items it is safe to conclude that Karl Stephan hardly could have attended these manoeuvres. On 12 September 1908 he and his wife travelled to attend a celebration in Balice by Kraków, not far from their residence in Saybusch (Żywiec). The occasion was the engagement of their daughter Renata to Prince Hieronim Mikołaj Radziwiłł (1885–1945) and on the 21st Neue Freie Presse reported that the noble party had been on an excursion to Wola-Justowska (now part of Kraków). It is therefore unlikely that the archduke the area around Kraków during the period the Kaisermanövern lasted.

That some archduke at some stage visited some brothel in Királyhida is likely but it would not have been Karl Stephan during the great exercises by Sopron in 1908. Most likely the whole episode is inspired by hearsay and enhanced by the author's urge to heap dirt on the Austrian elites.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Od opuštěného pavilónku, kde dřív za času míru fotografoval nějaký fotograf vojáky trávící zde mládí na vojenské střelnici, bylo vidět dole v údolí u Litavy červené elektrické světlo v bordelu „U kukuřičného klasu“, který poctil svou návštěvou arcivévoda Štěpán při velkých manévrech u Šoproně v roce 1908 a kde se scházela denně důstojnická společnost.

Also written:Arcivévoda Štěpán Hašek Habsburg–Tescheni Károly István hu

Literature

Offiziersdiener Mikulášeknn flag
Search

Mikulášek was the servant of Major Wenzl, a small and feeble fellow who in Királyhida gets totally ridiculed by Švejk and Oberleutnant Lukáš.

This is the first time the good soldier shows his ruthless streak, or rather: he shows that he doesn't suffer fools. Towards people of his own rank he can afford to be straightforward in this respect, against his superiors he needs to be cunning and use irony as a weapon in such a way that he doesn't get caught.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „Nadporučík Lukáš,“ řekl přistupuje k Mikuláškovi nepříliš pevným krokem, „a jak vy se jmenujete?“ Mikulášek mlčel. Lukáš přitáhl si židli před Mikuláška na stole, sedl si, dívaje se na něho nahoru, řekl: „Švejku, přineste mně z kufru služební revolver.“ Mikulášek po celou dobu, co Švejk hledal v kufru, mlčel a jen se vyděšeně díval na nadporučíka. Jestli se v té chvíli pochopil, že sedí na stole, byl jistě ještě zoufalejší, poněvadž jeho nohy dotýkaly se kolen sedícího nadporučíka. „Jářku, jak se jmenujete, člověče?“ volal nahoru na Mikuláška nadporučík.
Mrs. Kákonyi, Etelkann flag
Search

Kákonyi was the wife of the ironmongers Kákonyi in Soproni utca. Oberleutnant Lukáš fell for her in the theatre in Királyhida and the subsequent letter of admiration was the reason for the huge scandal that ensued after her husband had read the letter. We are also told that she was a German from Sopron.

Background

has no obvious model, although it can't be ruled out that Jaroslav Hašek was inspired by some real person and event. It can be stated with near certainty that no person carrying this name lived in Bruck an der Leitha or Királyhida at the time. There is however a precedent to the story of the scandal involving the Kákonyi couple, but from the author himself. It had appeared already in 1917 in the short novel Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí, although in a partly different setting.

It is also striking that the author assigns a Hungarian name to a German lady from Sopron, suggesting that this figure is fictional.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „Je to věc náramně důležitá, Švejku,“ poučoval ho dál, „opatrnosti nikdy nezbývá, a proto, jak vidíte, není tam adresa. Já se na vás úplně spoléhám, že odevzdáte to psaní v pořádku. Poznamenejte si ještě, že ta dáma se jmenuje Etelka, tedy zapište si paní Etelka Kákonyiová. Ještě vám říkám, že musíte to psaní diskretně doručit za všech okolností a čekat na odpověď. Že máte čekat na odpověď, o tom je už napsáno v dopise. Co ještě chcete?“

Sources: Klara Köttner-Benigni

Literature

Mr. Kákonyi, Gyulann flag
Search

Kákonyi was the owner of an ironmongers shop in Soproni utca, married to Mrs. Kákonyi. He did nok take lightly to the letter from Oberleutnant Lukáš that Švejk and Sappeur Vodička delivered, intended for his wife. The ensueing row led to a massive brawl between Magyars and Czechs out on the street. The affair ended up in numerous Hungarian newspapers, and became a huge scandal, further complicating the inter-ethnic relations in the empire.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Ten krám patří nějakému Maďarovi Kákonyimu. Víte, co je to Maďar? Tak himmelherrgott, víte nebo nevíte? Víte, dobře. Nahoře nad krámem je první patro a tam on bydlí. Víte o tom? Že nevíte, krucifix, tak já vám povídám, že tam bydlí. Stačí vám to? Stačí, dobře. Kdyby vám to nestačilo, tak vás dám zavřít. Máte poznamenáno, že se ten chlap jmenuje Kákonyi? Dobrá, tak vy, zítra ráno asi tak v deset hodin, půjdete dolů do města, najdete ten dům a půjdete nahoru do prvního patra a odevzdáte paní Kákonyiové toto psaní.“

Literature

Waitress Růženkann flag
Search

Růženka was a well known Czech waitress at Zum schwarzen Lamm who was owed money by every one-year volunteer who had ever set his foot in Bruck an der Leitha.

Background

Růženka appears to have had a real-life model, a certain Růženka who according to Bohumil Vlček worked at "U růže" (Zur Rose). The author may thus have used the same model for two different fictional persons. See Zur weissen Rose.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Vodička bydlíval před léty v Praze na Bojišti, a proto při takovém setkání nezbylo nic jiného, než že oba zašli do hospody „U černého beránka“ v Brucku, kde byla známá číšnice Růženka, Češka, které byli všichni čeští jednoročáci, kteří kdy byli v lágru, nějaký obnos dlužni.

Sources: Bohumil Vlček

Also written:Rosie Sadlon

Sappeur Vodička, Antonínnn flag
Search

Vodička was a Czech sapper, an old friend of Švejk from Prague. The latter was on his way to Soproni utca 16 to carry out his delicate errand for Oberleutnant Lukáš when he bumped into his old mate. They proceeded to Zum schwarzen Lamm to have a drink for the old days and Švejk unwisely revealed his delicate mission to his old friend. Vodička hated Magyars, was in a quarrelsome mood, and had also tanked up a bit. The ensuing scandal is well known for anyone who has read Švejk with attention.

Vodička had served at the front in Serbia and by Przemyśl and appears rather brutal both in words and deeds. He served with a regiment from Steirmark who were garrisoned in Bruck an der Leitha.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Nadporučík zabalil se opět do deky, ze které ho Švejk vytáhl, a spal dál, zatímco Švejk putoval dál do Királyhidy. Najít Sopronyi utczu čís. 16 nebylo by bývalo tak těžké, kdyby ho náhodou nebyl potkal starý sapér Vodička, který byl přidělen k „štajerákům“, jejichž kasárna byla dole v lágru.
Purkrábeknn flag
Search

Purkrábek was a soldier from k.k. Landwehrinfanterieregiment Nr. 16 who by mistake almost got beaten up by Sappeur Vodička in Pausdorf. He should not be confused with the bald PurkrábekB from Banka Slavia.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „Jednou ti už takovýho kluka maďarskýho držím za chřtán v Pausdorfě, kam jsme šli my saperáci na víno, a chci mu dát jednu überšvunkem přes kokos v tý tmě, poněvadž jsme hned, jak to začlo, praštili láhví do visací lampy, a von najednou začne křičet: ,Tondo, dyť to jsem já, Purkrábek, vod 16. landwehr!’
Mejstříknn flag
Search

Mejstřík was a Czech soldier who Sappeur Vodička could relate had led the way in a brawl with the hungarians by Neusiedler See. Mejstřík was a huge man, with paws as big as Bílá Hora.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] My si sedneme naproti nim, jen jsme si überšvunky položili před sebe na stůl, a povídáme si: ,Vy pacholci, my vám dáme láňok,’ a nějakej Mejstřík, kerej měl ploutev jako Bílá hora, se hned nabíd, že si půjde zatančit a že nějakýmu syčákovi vezme holku z kola.
Paroubeknn flag
Search

Paroubek was the landlord of a pub in Libeň who Švejk tells Sappeur Vodička about to timely remind him of the dangers of violent excess.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Já jsem znal nějakýho kořalečníka Paroubka v Libni. Jednou se mu tam opil nějakej dráteník jalovcovou a začal nadávat, že je to slabý, že do toho leje vodu, že kdyby drátoval sto let a za celej vejdělek si koupil samou jalovcovou a vypil ji najednou, že by moh ještě chodit po provaze a nosit ho, Paroubka, v náručí.
Hauptmann Jetzbachernn flag
Search

Jetzbacher was a swine of a captain who, according to a story Sappeur Vodička told Švejk, was shot by his own soldiers by Przemyśl.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Když jsme byli na frontě u Přemyšlu, tak tam byl s námi hejtman Jetzbacher, svině, které nebylo rovno pod sluncem. Ten nás uměl tak sekýrovat, že nějakej Bitterlich od naší kumpačky, Němec, ale moc takovej hodnej člověk, se kvůli němu zastřelil.
Bitterlichnn flag
Search

Bitterlich was a soldier who committed suicide because of Hauptmann Jetzbacher.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] Když jsme byli na frontě u Přemyšlu, tak tam byl s námi hejtman Jetzbacher, svině, které nebylo rovno pod sluncem. Ten nás uměl tak sekýrovat, že nějakej Bitterlich od naší kumpačky, Němec, ale moc takovej hodnej člověk, se kvůli němu zastřelil.
Locksmith Voborník, Antonínnn flag
Search

Voborník was a locksmith from Neklanova ulice in Vyšehrad. He appears in a story Švejk tells Sappeur Vodička.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „Z toho tě, Vodičko, vyvedu. Víš, kde je na Vyšehradě Neklanova ulice? Tam měl dílnu zámečník Voborník. Byl to člověk spravedlivej a jednoho dne, když se vrátil domů z flámu, tak si s sebou přived ještě jednoho flamendra spát.
Vrchlický, Jaroslavnn flag
*17.2.1853 Louny - †9.9.1912 Domažlice
Wikipedia czdeen Search
vrchlicky.jpg

Besedy lidu, číslo 8, 1903

vrchlicky1.png

Oesterreichische Buchhändler-Correspondenz, 6.6.1874

vrchlicky2.png

Národní listy, 19.12.1911

Vrchlický is quoted by Švejk when he is explaining Mr. Kákonyi that HE wrote the letter to his wife, that is was no fault of Oberleutnant Lukáš. Vrchlický is said to have used the expression kapitales Frau.

Background

Vrchlický (real name Emil Bohuslav Frída) was a Czech poet and translator, a pupil of Victor Hugo. He translated a number of classics to Czech, amongst them: Goethe, Baudelaire, Hugo, Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley, Dante, Petöfi and Ibsen.

That Vrchlický ever used the term kapitales Frau or similar has not been verified. Moreover the soldier's grasp of German grammar is questionable: Frau is a female noun, not neuter as the spelling here indicates.

On 18 December 1911 Franz Kafka made a note in his diary that he was present at the first performance of Vrchlický's play "Hippodamie" at Národní divadlo. Kafka didn't think much of it, in fact deemed it a lousy play without any sense or direction.

Franz Kafka, Tagebücher

Jetzt am Abend, wo mir die Gedanken freier zu werden anfangen und ich vielleicht zu einigem fähig wäre, muß ich ins Nationalteater zu "Hippodamie", Uraufführung von Vrchlicky.

18. XII 11 Vorgestern Hippodamie. Elendes Stück. Ein Herumirren in der griechischen Mythologie ohne Sinn und Grund. Aufsatz Kvapils auf dem Teaterzettel, der zwischen den Zeilen die während der ganzen Aufführung sichtbare Ansicht ausspricht, daß eine gute Regie (die hier aber nichts als Nachahmung Reinhardts war) eine schlechte Dichtung zu einem großen teatralischem Werk machen könne. Traurig muß das alles für einen nur etwas herumgekommenen Tschechen sein.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.3] „Pane,“ řekl důstojně Švejk, „to psaní jsem psal já. Ich geschrieben, kein Oberleutnant. Podpis jen tak, falešný, Unterschrift, Name, falsch. Mně se vaše paní velice líbí. Ich liebe Ihre Frau. Já jsem do vaší paní zamilovanej až po uši, jak říkal Vrchlický. Kapitales Frau.“

Literature

Index Back Forward II. At the front Hovudpersonen

3. Švejk's happenings in Királyhida


© 2009 - 2022 Jomar Hønsi Last updated: 21.6.2022