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The Art of SurvivalFrance and the Great War Picaresque$
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Libby Murphy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300217513

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300217513.001.0001

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The Comedy of Independence

The Comedy of Independence

The “Man on the Street” Goes Off to War

(p.91) 4. The Comedy of Independence
The Art of Survival

Libby Murphy

Yale University Press

This chapter compares the working-class “man on the street” character developed by French humorist Georges de La Fouchardière with that developed by Czech novelist Jaroslov Hašek in The Good Soldier Švejk. The chapter reminds us of the picaresque hero’s long-standing role in exposing, through his pragmatism and intellectual independence, the hypocrisies and illusions of the dominant society whose margins he occupies. By remaining his eccentric and inscrutable self, the man on the street resists the soul-crushing forces of militarization and bureaucratization, disrupting the machine of war.

Keywords:   Georges de la Fouchardière, Jaroslov Hašek, Alfred Bicard, Good Soldier Švejk, “man on the street” character, Le Canard enchaîné, militarization, eccentricity, independence, unheroic soldier

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