A talk by PAUL SAMAN, PhD
Moderated by Christopher Harwood, PhD

Special guests: Richard HASEK, grandson of Jaroslav Hasek, and Jomar HONSI president of the International Hašek Society in the Czech Republic,

Sunday, FEBRUARY 6 at 2 pm EST ONLINE


This talk aims to expose and debunk a persistent myth surrounding the sudden death of the irreverent Czech writer Jaroslav Hašek, whose influential satirical novel The Good Soldier Svejk has been translated into more than fifty languages. An analysis of the available documentation from the last weeks and days of his life demonstrates that, contrary to the prevailing belief, Hašek had been in stable health until the last few days of his life, and cannot plausibly have “drunk himself to death,” as the myth has it. Prof. Saman will present questions, arguments, and testimonies of Hašek’s contemporaries, which he has analyzed together with medical expert Dr. Frank Loskot.

SamanPAUL SAMAN was born in Istanbul in 1928 and grew up in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He holds a PhD in Turkish, Persian, and classical Arabic from Charles University. His academic work before emigrating in 1960 included teaching at the Oriental Institute in Prague, and publications on Central Asian folklore for academic journals, radio, and television. He worked for American intelligence for two years in Germany. After moving to the United States, he became professor in the Foreign Languages department of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he taught until the 1990s. Now retired, he lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
Organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA)

Please note: Last April 2021, we have organized ŠVEJKathon, an online nine-hour nonstop reading with 59 readers. Here is a link to the first hour recording. SVEJKathon Video #1 on our YouTube Channel. We recommend watching at least the introductory remarks by Václav Paris, PhD, an expert on Jaroslav Hašek.