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R.U.R. and The Insect Play

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  132 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Josef and Karel Capek were the best known literary figures of liberated Czechoslovakia after 1918. Josef won a considerable reputation as a painter of the Cubist school, later developing his own playful primitive style. He collaborated with his brother in composing sketches, stories, and plays, as well as writing two short novels of his own and critical essays in which he ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published December 31st 1961 by Oxford University Press, USA
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R.U.R. & War with the Newts by Karel ČapekR.U.R. by Karel ČapekR.U.R. and The Insect Play by Josef ČapekWar with the Newts by Karel ČapekThe White Disease by Karel Čapek
Best of Karel Capek
3rd out of 23 books — 3 voters
As I Lay Dying by William FaulknerBrief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster WallaceWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward AlbeeAgainst Nature by Joris-Karl HuysmansNotes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Best of Bitterness
21st out of 22 books — 5 voters


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Community Reviews

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Chad Bearden
I'm far more enamored of the ideas of the two plays contained here than of the scripts themselves. Whether that's due to Capek's writing or shoddy translations, I don't know. I take a little solace in the fact that the beloved Isaac Asimov had a similar reaction, giving credit to Capek for introducing the word "Robot" into the mainstream with his play "R.U.R." while still admitting that the play itself is rubbish.

Big chunks of "R.U.R." are rubbish. Produced in the 1920's, the play is filled with
...more
Bruce
R. U. R. introduced the German word robot (derived, according to the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, from the “Czech robota, [meaning] forced labour, drudgery”) to the English language in its modern sense as a manufactured slave. Originally it referred to the form of serfdom abolished by the Austrian Empire in 1848. The playwright’s brother Josef suggested the use of the word.

The inventor Rossum discovered a way to chemically create living matter. He had a theological point abou
...more
Jordan
I picked this up entirely for "R.U.R." but ended up reading "The Insect Play" anyways because I felt guilty leaving the book incomplete.

"R.U.R." is where the term "robot" is coined. The story itself isn't anything too spectacular aside from that. Basically a company makes robots so that people will never have to work, but eventually the robots revolt and slaughter all mankind but one man. It's kind of weird, especially the part about Helena. She comes to the island where robots are made to see t
...more
Josephkohn
robota: Czech for "drudgery"
Another short delightful romp into the mind of Karel Capek. It was nice to finally read the original robot story, although it was essentially what I expected it to be. R.U.R. fits in well with other Capek stories: sociopolitical commentary, lighthearted dialogue amidst serious events, and a theme of general disappointment regarding the human race. Although they are not exactly the men of steel that have become synonymous with the word "robot", this story really set t
...more
Hugo
R.U.R. narra como un grupo de trabajadores, desde tecnicos, cientificos, administradores, financieros, etc. trabajan en torno a los logros de los Rossum, padre e hijo, el viejo tratando de crear un ser viviente tan apegado al humano y el joven con mentalidad industrial de la epoca (principios del siglo XX) hacerlos como herramientas y generar ganancias, y sus peleas eran muy fuertes. Despues de la muerte de ambos, los robots, simples herramientas de trabajo, son usadas para la guerra, carecen de ...more
Nooilforpacifists
The book consists of two short plays. Just about the sole reason anyone's ever heard of them is that the Capeks (in R.U.R.) introduce to our consciousness and language the word "robot". Otherwise, there's not much here.
Jan Jørgensen
Capek brødrende er satiriker af stor grad som forstår at stille spørgsmål til de politiske tendenser i ders samtid op i mod anden verdenskrig. Deres sprogbrug er helt i top på tros af en meget simpel tone. men det der gør dem til noget helt særligt er deres humor og evne til at karikere.

Ikke den bedste bog de har skrevet men bestemt vær at læse.
Stephen
R.U.R. is mindnumbingly bad. Famous as the source of the word "robot", you can see the influence the play had on Asimov's (incomparably better) Robot stories. Worth reading to say you read it, but for little else. The Insect Play is (slightly) better.
Chris
R.U.R. is better than the Insect Play, which is just social commentary. R.U.R. is the play which created the word "robot" and is actually critical in many different directions. (Slav 117- Univ Sophomore)
Corinne Wahlberg
Reread for my West End pitch. I think that it could be an interesting show to put up in Theaterland.
Esther
Three stars for R.U.R.

One for The Insect Play.
Kathleen
Brilliant. First use of the word "robot"
Linda
2 for r.u.r. and 1 for the insect play.
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Josef Čapek was a Czech artist, writer and poet and brother to author Karel Čapek. Josef Čapek was a student of Cubism, which combined with his own playful style, exhibited a primitive note in his paintings. Josef Čapek collaborated with his brother on numerous occasions, which produced many plays and short stories. Josef Čapek is also famous for penning the Czech children’s classic Doggie and Pus ...more
More about Josef Čapek...
Pejsek a kočička Povídání o pejskovi a kočičce Stín kapradiny Kulhavý poutník Povídejme si, děti

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