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Trivia / The Good Soldier Švejk

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  • Author Existence Failure: His unhealthy bohemian lifestyle, the tribulations of war, and the personal problems since his return to Czechoslovakia did little to improve the author's health. Hašek contracted typhoid and tuberculosis in Russia, but while he got the first mostly healed up, once he returned home and got the cold shoulder from most of his former colleagues, his TB worsened, and though his situation later improved, his health did not, and he died January 3rd, 1923, having completed just about the half of the planned novel.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Otto Katz was baptized by Alban Schachleiter — a real person. Shortly after Hašek's death Schachleiter met Hitler and became his staunch supporter. The infamous photo of a Catholic priest giving a nazi salute (often misattributed to Pius XII) is of Pater Alban.
    • Hašek accused the editor-in-chief of Československá republika, Josef Stanislav Hevera, of writing an inappropriately flattering illustrated biography of Franz Josef. Hevera did publish such a book — but only 7 years later.
  • One-Book Author: Unfortunately, due to the Author Existence Failure, it's not even a full book. Hašek wrote many short stories, but this is his only novel.
  • What Could Have Been: The full name of the first edition (serialized, self-published) was Osudy dobrého vojáka Švejka za světove i občanské války zde i v Rusku — "Adventures of the good soldier Svejk during World and Civil wars here and in Russia" — more or less mirroring the author's biography. The afterword to the first volume "Behind the Lines" promised two more soon: "At the Front" and "In Custody". But so far Svejk haven't reached the battlefield in "At the Front", "The Glorious Licking" or "The Glorious Licking Continues".
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  • Write What You Know: The book in its entirety is closely based on Hašek's experiences as a conscripted Czech soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army in the Great War, and had he lived to complete it, it would've undoubtedly include his experiences during the Russian Civil War.

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