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Dialectics and Passive Resistance

The Comic Antihero in Modern Fiction


William Walker

A unique literary type emerges in twentieth century fiction which finds its most characteristic prototype in Jaroslav Hasek's The Adventures of the Good Soldier Schwejk (1923). The prototypical model of Schwejk, unlike such socially alienated types as Existential Man, signals the beginnings of a passive resistance to the alienating threat of oppression and destruction through a skillful mastery of dialectical humor, a strategy which is traced comparatively through variations of the Schwejk prototype in the fiction of other contemporary national literatures.
Contents: Historical Background - Hasek's The Good Soldier Schwejk - Schwejk Adaptations - Heller's Catch-22 - Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ehrenburg's The Stormy Life of Laz Roitshvantz - Hughes' Jesse B. Semple - Brecht's Refugee Conversations - Lundwall's Bernhard the Conqueror - Conclusion.