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Karel Capek (1890 – 1938)


Czech author and playwright, who introduced and made popular the word "robot" as a word for artificial human beings, which first appeared in his play R U R in 1920.
Karel Capek
Capek finds in science fiction and crime fiction forms that allow his passion for ideas to take on flesh. He is not a writer interested in character in the realist sense. He is captivated by circumstance and chance.
Capek quotes
Any acceleration constitutes progress, Miss Glory. Nature had no understanding of the modern rate of work. From a technical standpoint the whole of childhood is pure nonsense. Simply wasted time. An untenable waste of time.
Capek
We've become beings with souls... Something struggles within us. There are moments when something gets into us. Thoughts come to us which are not our own... People are our fathers! The voice that cries out that you want to live; the voice that complains; the voice that reasons; the voice that speaks of eternity — that is their voice!




Capek Karel quotes
Within the next ten years Rossum's Universal Robots will produce so much wheat, so much cloth, so much everything that things will no longer have any value. Everyone will be able to take as much as he needs. There'll be no more poverty. Yes, people will be out of work, but by then there'll be no work left to be done. Everything will be done by living machines. People will do only what they enjoy. They will live only to perfect themselves... But before that some awful things may happen, Miss Glory. That just can't be avoided. But then the subjugation of man by man and the slavery of man to matter will cease. Never again will anyone pay for his bread with hatred and his life. There'll be no more laborers, no more secretaries. No one will have to mine coal or slave over someone else's machines. No longer will man need to destroy his soul doing work that he hates.
Capek Karel
Mankind will endure. In twenty years the world will belong to man again; even if it's only to a couple of savages on the tiniest island ... that'll be a start. And as long as there's some small beginning, that's fine. In a thousand years they'll have caught up to where we are now and then surpass even that ... to accomplish what we only dreamed of.
Karel Capek quotes
Great God of the Ants, thou hast granted victory to thy servants. I appoint thee honorary Colonel.
Karel Capek
Each factory will be making Robots of a di¯ferent color, a different nationality, a different tongue; that they'll all be different — as different from one another as fingerprints; that they'll no longer be able to conspire with one another; and ... we, we people will help to foster their prejudices and cultivate their mutual lack of understanding, you see? So that any given Robot, to the day of its death, right to the grave, will forever hate a Robot bearing the trademark of another factory... Thunder, we'll make Black Robots and Swedish Robots and Italian Robots and Chinese Robots, and then let someone try to drive the notion of brotherhood into the noggin of their organization...
Capek Karel quotes
Thunder, there are so many beautiful things! The world was beautiful and we — we — Boys, boys, tell me, what did we ever take the time to enjoy?
Capek
Letters from England is what nearly every reviewer said it was: a "charming" and "humane" work of travel literature by a man of wry, candid, and cosmopolitan sensibility. Capek brings just the right mixture of admiration and affectionate deprecation to bear on his subject; he gives his curiosity free rein, but tempers both praise and deflation with humor; he is as alive to human accomplishment as he is to human folly, and it is rare that he discovers one unmodified by the other.
Capek Karel
I've found a place that would amaze you. People used to live there, but now it's all overgrown and no one goes there. Absolutely no one — only me... Just a little house and a garden. And two dogs. If you could see how they licked my hands, and their puppies — oh, Primus, there's probably nothing more beautiful! You take them on your lap and cuddle them, and just sit there until sundown not thinking about anything and not worrying about anything. Then when you get up you feel as though you've done a hundred times more than a lot of work. Really, I'm not good for much of anything. Everyone says I'm not cut out for any kind of work. I don't know what I'm good for.
Karel Capek
O Adam, Adam! no longer will you have to earn your bread by the sweat of your brow; you will return to Paradise where you were nourished by the hand of God. You will be free and supreme; you will have no other task, no other work, no other cares than to perfect your own being. You will be the master of creation.




Karel Capek quotes
I don't say that it is a bad or useless profession: but it isn't one of the superlatively fine and striking ones, and the material used is of a strange sort — you don't even see it. But I'd like all the things I used to see to be in it: the ringing hammer-strokes of the smith and the colors of the whisping of the stone-mason, the bustling of the baker, the humility of the poor, and all the lusty strength and skill which men of towering stature put into their work before the astonished and fascinated eyes of a child.
Karel Capek
No writer in Czechoslovakia (and very few elsewhere in the world) reacted with such accuracy . . . and with such passion to the Nazi takeover.
Capek quotes
Robots of the world! Many people have fallen. By seizing the factory we have become the masters of everything. The age of mankind is over. A new world has begun! The rule of Robots!
Capek Karel
Nothing is stranger to man than his own image.
Capek Karel quotes
O nature, nature, life will not perish! Friends, Helena, life will not perish! It will begin anew with love; it will start out naked and tiny; it will take root in the wilderness, and to it all that we did and built will mean nothing — our towns and factories, our art, our ideas will all mean nothing, and yet life will not perish! Only we have perished. Our houses and machines will be in ruins, our systems will collapse, and the names of our great will fall away like dry leaves. Only you, love, will blossom on this rubbish heap and commit the seed of life to the winds. Now let Thy servant depart in peace, O Lord, for my eyes have beheld — beheld Thy deliverance through love, and life shall not perish!
Karel Capek
Socialism is good when it comes to wages, but it tells me nothing when it comes to other questions in life that are more private and painful, for which I must seek answers elsewhere. Relativism is not indifference; on the contrary, passionate indifference is necessary in order for you not to hear the voices that oppose your absolute decrees. . . Relativism is neither a method of fighting, nor a method of creating, for both of these are uncompromising and at times even ruthless; rather, it is a method of cognition. If one must fight or create, it is necessary that this be preceded by the broadest possible knowledge ... One of the worst muddles of this age is its confusing of the ideas behind combative and cognitive activity. Cognition is not fighting, but once someone knows a lot, he will have much to fight for, so much that he will be called a relativist because of it.
Karel Capek quotes
To be diligent in one's service became the credo of Capek's life, and he therefore supported anything that would give people a zest for work, for life, for creating a free society. His philosophy called for each individual to seek the positive in this world, so that he can "lift himself" with every step taken under his own power.
Karel Capek
You can have a revolution wherever you like, except in a government office; even were the world to come to an end, you'd have to destroy the universe first and then government offices.
Capek Karel
Why are there stars when there are no people? O God, why don't you just extinguish them? — Cool my brow, ancient night! Divine and fair as you always were — O night, what purpose do you serve? There are no lovers, no dreams. O nursemaid, dead as a sleep without dreams, you no longer hallow anyone's prayers. O mother of us all, you don't bless a single heart smitten with love. There is no love.


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