Doug's Reviews > R.U.R.

R.U.R. by Karel Čapek
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's review
Jun 03, 2008

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Read in June, 2008

This is a reprint of the Theater Guild's 1923 edition. I'd like to read a less "my gracious, what brutes" translation, perhaps this is literal, but a contemporary interpretation would be taken more seriously.

Whenever the somewhat saccharine lead of Helena got to fretting and skitting, pun not intended, I reminded myself to envision this on the stage, and not hold it as mere imaginative exercise.

The first act, especially, is neatly wrapped, and the overall pacing of the play is good. Despite the admirable protest of Capek's humanism that labor is craft is dignity, a somewhat "retro" idea, the phalanx of businessmen vying for Helena's hand is too much tennis club and tea party drama.

That said, the discussion of what constitutes the best worker, not who, nicely sums up the reductive exploitation of people as mere mechanical entities, robots in the making.

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