Karel Čapek



  • (1890 - 1938) Czech dramatist, novelist, and essayist.The son of a country doctor, /apek began writing in his youth andwas published by the age of 14. After studying philosophy in Prague,Berlin, and Paris, he settled, in 1917, in Prague, where his firstplay, The Brigand, was performed in 1920. This was followedby the expressionist fantasy RUR (1921), which concernedthe dangers of unconsidered technological escalation and introducedthe word 'robot' into the English language. The Insect Play(1922), an allegorical piece written in collaboration with his brotherJosef, achieved international success, productions being quickly stagedboth in Britain and America. A sequel to RUR, Adam the Creator(1927), also written with Josef, dealt with man's attempts to rebuildthe world after its virtual destruction by robots. Two later plays,The White Scourge (1937) and The Mother (1938), dealtwith the subjects of war and dictatorship and expressed Čapek'sfears about the rise of fascism in Europe. Čapek did not liveto see the fulfilment of his worst fears, dying before the outbreakof World War II and his brother's death in Belsen (1945).