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The Good Soldier Švejk

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Who is who

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Kompit, Zdenko Václav
*5.8.1862 Praha - †18.9.1926 Praha
Search Švejkův slovník
vyskoc2.jpg

Konec bahna Prahy, K.L. Kukla, 1927, s.312.

Kompit also known as Venca Vyskoč, is without doubt the prototype of the village idiot Pepík Vyskoč from Putim.

Lifeline

"Venca" was born in Prague III., house no. 321, in Malá Strana, son of Karel Kompit and Agnes. His mother died when he was three so he was raised by his father's second wide, Anna. He originally worked as a waiter, in the 1890 population register and the 1910 police record he is listed as a "cellarman". In 1890 there is a remark "blbý" (stupid) by his name in the police register[a].

When this stupidity actually took hold is not known but at some stage he started to walk around pubs and café's, bleated and jumped by the tables and collected money for the spectacle. Venca became a well-known character in the streets of Prague. His main area of operation was around Václavské náměstí and even frequented U Fleků, a tavern that the author of The Good Soldier Švejk knew very well[b].

Obituaries
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Polední list 19.4.1936.

"Venca" was mentioned in newspapers already during his lifetime[c] and when he died on 18 September 1926 at the age of 65, several national and regional newspaper published notices. Lidové noviny even provided a more detailed obituary[b]. The description in this obituary is so close to Jaroslav Hašek's own that there is not even the slightest doubt where the inspiration for the name, the jumping and the bleating came from. Hašek's "deviation" consisted in transferring Vyskoč from Prague to Putim and let Wachtmeister Flanderka hire him as in informer.

Knesl and Kukla
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Augustin Knesl, Večerní Praha 1983.

Augustin Knesl also noticed the connection between "Venca Vyskoč" and Pepík Vyskoč in his series in Večerní Praha (1983), and refers to a note by Karel Ladislav Kukla in České slovo from 1924[d].

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák, Sergey Soloukh, Augustin Knesl

Literature

References
aPepek VyskočJaroslav Šerák2009 - 2022
bVenca Vyskoč zemřelLidové noviny21.9.1926
c»Pefél z Moskvy«Rudé právo25.11.1922
dPřekvapení pokračujíAugustin Knesl, Večerní Praha1983

© 2009 - 2022 Jomar Hønsi Last updated: 30.11.2022