R. U. R. ROSSUM'S UNIVERSAL ROBOTS: KOLEKTIVNI DRAMA
[Praha]: Aventinum, 1920. First edition. Octavo, collating: , 7-96, , [98, blank], [99, colophon], [100, blank]. Original decorated lavender wrappers, printed in brown and black, all edges untrimmed. Spine and edges of wrappers restored, internal contents are quite clean.
One of 2000 copies printed. "This play was first performed in 1921 in Prague and has since that time been translated and performed through the world. The word "robot" which Josef Capek coined for the play, based on the Czech word robota, 'forced labor,' has become a part of most modern languages." – Lewis, Utopian Literature, pp. 38-9. "Destined to be Capek's greatest popular success, it was soon translated and played in almost all the civilized countries of the world and became one of the most widely performed plays of the century. Such a phenomenon was quite unparalleled in Czech literature, and Capek was hailed as the outstanding Czech writer of his generation." - Harkins, Karel Capek (1962) For those who have not read "R.U.R.," it may be tempting to think of it as a sermon against technology. But it is no such simple thing. It is instead a rich and complex meditation on the nature of humanity, mixing comedy with drama, expressionism with realism, and truth with counter-truth (in a kind of "literary cubism") in such a way as to stimulate a great variety of interpretations. Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 2-37; (1981) 2-13; (1987) 2-15; and (1995) 2-16. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 358. Negley, Utopian Literature 182. Survey of Science Fiction Literature IV, pp. 1837-43. Bleiler (1978) (Item #803)
Out of stock