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One hundred years ago, the death of Jaroslav Hasek is still remembered.

BY AGE NINJA   🕘 03, 2023

This January marks the 100th anniversary of the death of beloved Czech writer and humorist, Jaroslav Hasek. His iconic works, such as The Good Soldier Svejk, have become global classics and his wit, humor and social commentary still resonate today. Let us look back at the life of Hasek and honor his lasting legacy.

On January 3, 1923, Czech writer Jaroslav Hasek tragically died at the age of 39 years, 8 months and 3 days. Widely known for his satirical writing and his wry sense of humor, Hasek left a legacy of writing that endures a century later. As the anniversary of his death approaches, let’s take a look back at the life and writings of this beloved Czech author, who continues to inspire generations of readers.

Hasek was born in Prague in 1883 and showed an aptitude for writing from an early age. During his teenage years, he was inspired to write by his uncle, who was a renowned Czech journalist and editor. Hasek eventually enrolled in The University of Law in Prague, where he studied for two years before dropping out to pursue his writing career.

In 1906, Hasek self-published his first book, a collection of stories titled “Scenes from My Life.” The book was well-received, and Hasek decided to keep writing. He began to experiment with a variety of genres, including journalism, plays, and novels.

One of the most notable of these works was “The Good Soldier Svejk”. The novel follows the exploits of a simple Czech soldier who is conscripted into the Austrian army during World War I. Filled with irony and dark humor, the book offers a unique glimpse into the absurdity of war. It quickly became a classic of world literature and was later adapted into a popular TV series in the 1970s.

Apart from his writing, Hasek was a passionate political activist. He was an ardent supporter of the Czech independence movement, which sought to unite all the Czech-speaking territories of the former Austro-Hungarian empire. Hasek used his writing to push for a free Czechoslovakia and he was an outspoken critic of the monarchy.

Sadly, Hasek’s life was cut short by an illness. Shortly after finishing the manuscript for “The Good Soldier Svejk,” he fell ill with a severe case of pneumonia and died at the age of 39.

Now, a century later, Hasek’s legacy lives on. His writing has been translated into dozens of languages, and his books continue to be read and appreciated by readers around the world. The Good Soldier Svejk remains a classic of world literature and is considered to be one of the best anti-war novels ever written.

Jaroslav Hasek was an icon of Czech literature, whose works continue to inspire readers to this day. As the centenary of his death approaches, let us take a moment to remember his life and works, which will be remembered and cherished for generations to come.