blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2022  Vol. 21  No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
Karel Čapek

Karel Čapek (1890–1938) is frequently associated with his play R.U.R, the work that introduced the word “robot” into the English language. He was playwright, novelist, travel writer, short story writer, and critic who collaborated with brother Josef on a number of plays and books, including titles for children. Nominated seven times for Nobel Prize in Literature, Capek never received the award. As a political activist who spoke out against fascism and communism, he did so more pointedly and openly with the rising threat of the Nazis, and was subsequently named by the Gestapo as “public enemy number two.” After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939, when the Nazis sought to arrest him, they found only his widow at home. Karel Čapek had died of pneumonia on December 25, 1938.  end