The following story is a C.V. of the playwright and inventor Cimrman, a fictional character of mythological proportions. Cimrman became a favorite among the Czechs, following the fate of the Good Soldier Švejk. Our story is taken from the collection Hry Járy Cimrmana, which was published in 1988. An epic version of this summary appeared on the screen two years earlier, in the movie “Jára Cimrman ležící, spící.”
Cimrman represents the positive side of the Czech national character, which is why he shares his ideas without a trace of selfishness or desire for fame. He advises Chekhov to add one sister to his drama “Two Sisters”; seeing a desperate Eiffel, he spreads the base of the model tower that fails to stand.
The character of Jára Cimrman embodies all the wishes and mythologizing tendencies of a minor nation. His genius is thwarted at every turn - by circumstances, by the ignorance of his compatriots, by the tide of history. He invents dynamite - only a couple of days after Nobel invents it. He is hired as a tutor for the children of Archduke Ferdinand, the intended heir to the Habsburg throne - and teaches them Czech and plants in them radically subversive anti-Habsburg ideas. He is a Czech patriot and homegrown hero.