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Cook Jurajda's Hors D'oeuvre


"The occultist Jurajda was of the mind that ... it was certain that even such fun very often contained prophetic facts when the spiritual sight of man under the influence of mysterious forces penetrated the veil of the unknown future." - The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk During the World War, Book Three, Chapter 3

The installation of 
Hors D'oeuvre à la Jurajda ['yoo-rai-dah]
- An Apotheosis of Consumerist Lifestyle -

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Photo © Leoš Poříz

Only because of the astuteness and diligence of the photographer Leoš Poříz we are able to reveal the identity of at least one of the people responsible for erecting the assemblage depicted above. As surreptitious as the event was, the co-author of the sculpture, Jaroslav Fieger, let his guard down and showed his face. Yes, he is the read-headed man at the center of the scene above. If you think his visage is more akin to a Viking, remember that the Swedes laid siege to the Lipnice castle and pillaged the surrounding area during the Thirty Year War that was, incidentally, started by the Second Defenestration of Prague.


"Cook Jurajda broke into philosophizing, which in fact corresponded to his former job. That is to say, he used to publish, until the war, an occultist magazine and the book series Mysteries of Life and Death. In the military he got himself stashed out of sight to the officers’ kitchen and very often burnt some roast when he got immersed in reading a translation of ancient Indian sutras, learned texts, the Pragnâ-Paramitâ (Revealed Wisdom). Colonel Schröder liked him as an oddity at the regiment, because, which officers’ kitchen could boast a cook-occultist who, peering into the mysteries of life and death, surprised all with such good svíčková, pickled beef in cream sauce, or with such ragú that down below Komárovo the fatally wounded Lieutenant Dufek kept on calling for Jurajda." - The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk During the World War, Book Two, Chapter 5

The sculptor, Radomír Dvořák, reports: "Richard Hašek [the grandson of Jaroslav Hašek] proclaimed a wish during the unveiling ceremony for 'even more stonemason's humor made of sandstone, granite and marble'. Only afterward one of the guests had the insight of an analogy of form: The 'Hors D'oeuvre' evokes (also because of where it's located) a plague column. Only the Virgin Mary is missing atop the ball up above. Probably the Day After Assumption. So, in case of avian influenza or another epidemic one needs to seek refuge in Lipnice. That's because any plague will avoid it since Lipnice is the only municipality that had the presence of mind to apply the only preventative measure proven to work in Baroque times already. A plague column is, that is to say, much more effective than any TamiFlu or vaccine."

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