Patrick Sprunger's Reviews > The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War

The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War by Jaroslav Hašek
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Jul 23, 2010

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bookshelves: fiction, read-in-2010
Read from July 05 to 23, 2010

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Quotes Patrick Liked

Jaroslav Hašek
“And somewhere from the dim ages of history the truth dawned upon Europe that the morrow would obliterate the plans of today.”
Jaroslav Hašek, The Good Soldier Švejk

Jaroslav Hašek
“When Švejk subsequently described life in the lunatic asylum, he did so in exceptionally eulogistic terms: 'I really don't know why those loonies get so angry when they're kept there. You can crawl naked on the floor, howl like a jackal, rage and bite. If anyone did this anywhere on the promenade people would be astonished, but there it's the most common or garden thing to do. There's a freedom there which not even Socialists have ever dreamed of.”
Jaroslav Hašek, The Good Soldier Švejk

Jaroslav Hašek
“The famous field altar came from the Jewish firm of Moritz Mahler in Vienna, which manufactured all kinds of accessories for mass as well as religious objects like rosaries and images of saints.

The altar was made up of three parts, lberally provided with sham gilt like the whole glory of the Holy Church.

It was not possible without considerable ingenuity to detect what the pictures painted on these three parts actually represented. What was certain was that it was an altar which could have been used equally well by heathens in Zambesi or by the Shamans of the Buriats and Mongols.

Painted in screaming colors it appeared from a distance like a coloured chart intended for colour-blind railway workers. One figure stood out prominently - a naked man with a halo and a body which was turning green, like the parson's nose of a goose which has begun to rot and is already stinking. No one was doing anything to this saint. On the contrary, he had on both sides of him two winged creatures which were supposed to represent angels. But anyone looking at them had the impression that this holy naked man was shrieking with horror at the company around him, for the angels looked like fairy-tale monsters and were a cross between a winged wild cat and the beast of the apocalypse.

Opposite this was a picture which was meant to represent the Holy Trinity. By and large the painter had been unable to ruin the dove. He had painted a kind of bird which could equally well have been a pigeon or a White Wyandotte. God the Father looked like a bandit from the Wild West served up to the public in an American film thriller.

The Son of God on the other hand was a gay young man with a handsome stomach draped in something like bathing drawers. Altogether he looked a sporting type. The cross which he had in his hand he held as elegantly as if it had been a tennis racquet.

Seen from afar however all these details ran into each other and gave the impression of a train going into a station.”
Jaroslav Hašek, The Good Soldier Švejk

Jaroslav Hašek
“After debauches and orgies there always follows the moral hangover.”
Jaroslav Hašek, The Good Soldier Švejk

Jaroslav Hašek
“All along the line,' said the volunteer, pulling the blanket over him, 'everything in the army stinks of rottenness. Up till now the wide-eyed masses haven't woken up to it. With goggling eyes they let themselves be made into mincemeat and then when they're struck by a bullet they just whisper, "Mummy!" Heroes don't exist, only cattle for the slaughter and the butchers in the general staffs. But in the end every body will mutiny and there will be a fine shambles. Long live the army! Goodnight!”
Jaroslav Hašek, The Good Soldier Švejk


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