This article argues that social activism is inherent in the nature of the trickster figure, namely through the productive and therapeutic power of the imagination. Analysing the author’s style of writing, the novel’s composition in the broader context of Czech folklore studies, artistic and literary movements inside the socialist bloc in the 1960s and 1970s, the Jungian archetype, and the Lacanian mirror-stage theories, I explore how the trickster serves that social purpose in Bohumil Hrabal’s novel I Served the King of England. Enabling an externalization of the problems accompanying the process of individual and collective Self-development, the trickster provides for both the author and reader a shelter for reflection and a possible reconsideration of Self. The trickster character and narrative thus presents a soothing action and, through that, a warning and a suggestion for society. Of course, such externalization creates the possibility of neither overcoming the distance nor understanding the warning a trickster sends.
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