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Behind the Lines: Bugulma and Other Stories
by Jaroslav Hasek
translated by Mark Corner
afterword Robert B. Pynsent
Karolinum Press, 2016
Paper: 978-80-246-3287-2 | eISBN: 978-80-246-3371-8


Jaroslav Hašek is a Czech writer most famous for his wickedly funny, widely read, yet incomplete novel The Good Soldier Schweik, a series of absurdist vignettes about a recalcitrant WWI soldier. Hašek—in spite of a life of buffoonery and debauchery—was remarkably prolific. He wrote hundreds of short stories that all display both his extraordinary gift for satire and his profound distrust of authority. Behind the Lines presents a series of nine short stories first published in the Prague Tribune and considered to be some of Hašek’s best. Based on his experiences as a Red Commissar in the Russian Civil War and his return to Czechoslovakia, Behind the Lines focuses on the Russian town of Bugulma, taking aim, with mordant wit, at the absurdities of a revolution.

Providing important background and insight into The Good Soldier Schweik, this collection by a writer some call the Bolshevik Mark Twain is nevertheless much more than a tool for understanding his better-known novel; it is a significant work in its own right. A hidden gem remarkable for its modern, ribald sense of humor, Behind the Lines is an enjoyable, fast-paced anthology of great literary and historical value.


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