R.U.R.

Front Cover
Dover Publications, Aug 20, 2001 - Drama - 64 pages
24 Reviews
Great play, that introduced the word "robot" into English, looks to a future in which all workers are automatons. Their revolt when they acquire souls (i.e., when they gain the ability to hate) and the resulting catastrophe make for a powerful and deeply moving theatrical experience. "It is murderous social satire, done in terms of the most hair-raising melodrama." — Alexander Woolcott. "As awe-inspiring as anything we have ever seen in the theatre." — Heywood Broun. Paul Selver translation.

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Review: RUR

User Review  - Austin Wright - Goodreads

According to the God-Emperors at Wikipedia: Isaac Asimov, author of theRobotseriesof books and creator of theThree Laws of Robotics, stated: "Capek's play is, in my own opinion, a terribly bad one ... Read full review

Review: RUR

User Review  - Bob J - Goodreads

Very wordy, as political satires of the time tended to be, but fascinating in what it covers. Great to see that this 1920 first appearance of robots is also the first appearance of the genocidal robot ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Karel Capek is best known abroad for his plays, but at home he is also revered as an accomplished novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and writer of political articles. His bitingly satirical novel The War with the Newts (1936) reveals his understanding of the possible consequences of scientific advance. The novel Krakatit (1924), about an explosive that could destroy the world, foreshadows the feared potential of a nuclear disaster. In his numerous short stories he depicts the problems of modern life and common people in a humorous and whimsically philosophical fashion. The plays of Karel Capek presage the Theater of the Absurd. R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) (1921) was a satire on the machine age. He created the word robot from the Czech noun robota, meaning "work" for the human-made automatons who in that play took over the world, leaving only one human being alive. The Insect Comedy (1921), whose characters are insects, is an ironic fantasy on human weakness. The Makropoulos Secret (1923), later used as the basis for Leos Janacek's opera, was an experimental piece that questioned whether immortality is really desirable. All the plays have been produced successfully in New York. Most deal satirically with the modern machine age or with war. Underlying all his work, though, is a faith in humanity, truth, justice, and democracy, which has made him one of the most beloved of all Czech writers.

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