Saturday, April 17, 2010

Interim Read

While I'm slowly plugging along at Don Quixote, I not only read a few non-list items - the most recommendable of which is The Ask by Sam Lipsyte (great fun) - , but also one of my listed ones.
Das Hasek Lesebuch, a collection of shorter pieces by Jaroslav Hasek (1883-1923).
His great claim to fame is The Good Soldier Svejk, one of my favorite books ever. His shorter stories work along similar lines: the dirty reality of getting along in the world of central Europe in the early 20th Century shows up all the cracks in the official face of things.
The Svejk stories (which survive being taken out of context of the big work and are represented here, too) have the benefit of the delightful character of Svejk himself, who appears a bumbling fool, but is really a survivor of the most divinely inspired sort.
It makes me happy just thinking about it again.
(And, now back to Don Quixote and Sancho.)