1931. Very slim sextodecimo [18 cm] Saddle-stitched printed wraps. Light wear to the wraps. One of the pages is a bit soiled. Very good. Item #57987
"The term robot has been applied to our modern appliances which are having so great a part in displacing man's necessity as a factor in the world's industries. We use it here as a convenience.
"This particular robot came into use so gradually it was not taken into account as it might have been had its advancement been more rapid. Man as a whole was not aware of its encroachment until he found himself out of a job... It is plain that the conditions all point to the fact that we are producing and will continue to produce, all the world's needs with the facilities now in use. The robot of industry, like the airplane and radio, have come to stay. All of them are only in the beginning of their possibilities." - C. L. Paulus
An early use of the term "robot." The term "robot" was first popularized Karel Capek's 1920 play "R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)". According to the distinguished science fiction bibliographer E. F. Bleiler, "the present-day reader's interest in the play centers on Capek's creation of the robot. Taken from the Czech word 'robota', meaning "forced labor," the word "robot" was invented by Josef Capek [Karel's brother], and it has come to have a far more precise meaning than either brother can have intended. In the play the robots are not mechanical, metallic creatures, but are instead androids - living, organic simulacra - indistinguishable at first (and second) glance from humans. Capek's robots represent, at times rather loosely and inconsistently, a complex or symbolic meanings: the threatening aspects of the industrial dehumanization of the work force, as well as the pathos that surrounds the victims of rationalization and the assembly line. Through this ambivalence, which is not always convincing in its mixture of reductive caricature and sentimental special pleading, the image of the robot represents the logical outcome, for the helpless masses, of living and working in a world where human autonomy is not only superfluous but also directly counterproductive." Bleiler p.585.