Praha (Prague): 1924. Russian language edition (presumably the first edition in Russian?). Paperback. 217pp. Duodecimo [18 cm] Gray and blue pictorial wrappers. Top edge trimmed; other edges deckled. The wraps are a bit creased and chipped, and subtle tissue repairs have been made to the hinges and wraps. Very good. Item #58373
According to 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, 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
A scarce Russian-language translation of Capek's seminal work.