Karel Čapek was a leading Czech interwar novelist, playwright and journalist and is perhaps most remembered for works of science fiction such as The War with the Newts and R.U.R., which gave the world the word “robot”. But did you know that Čapek was also a travel writer? His pieces from around Europe are the focus of the book In Search of a Shared Expression by Mirna Solic, a lecturer at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Glasgow. I spoke to her on the phone from Scotland.
Thursday is the 130th anniversary of the birth of Czech journalist, novelist and dramatist Karel Čapek. Čapek was best known for his science fiction, including the 1936 novel War with the Newts, the 1920 play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), which gave the world the word “robot”. His older brother Josef Čapek was a well-known painter and writer.
Pe’er Friedmann is currently the only active literary translator from Czech into Hebrew. It was his enthusiasm for Karel Čapek, the best-loved Czech writer of the 1920s and 30s, that first brought him from Tel Aviv to Prague eight years ago, and he has been here ever since. In the Czech Republic there is a lively interest in contemporary Israeli writing and at the same time Pe’er has been battling to encourage Israeli publishers to take more interest in Czech literature. He spoke to David Vaughan.
Little over a week before the centenary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia, a freshly released film brings the state’s founder to the big screen. Talks with T.G. Masaryk reconstructs a single conversation between the “father of the nation” and writer Karel Čapek, another symbol of the First Republic era.
Hundreds of people visited the one-time home of writer Karel Čapek in
Prague’s Vinohrady district on Friday. The Prague 10 district authority
opened the villa to the public in connection with this year’s 100th
anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia.
The country’s first president, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, and famous journalist Ferdinand Peroutka were among the First Republic figures that used to meet at Čapek’s home.
Prague 10 Town Hall said there was so much interest in visiting the villa, which it is planning to renovate, that a second open day will be held on August 9.
In this, the last programme in our series to mark Radio Prague’s 80th birthday, we travel eastwards looking at links between India and Czechoslovakia both before and after the Second World War as captured in our archives. In the 1920s and 30s cultural links were strong, despite the huge differences and distance between the two countries, and many of these links survived even in the time of the Cold War. David Vaughan has more.
Around a hundred people gathered at Prague's Vyšehrad cemetery on Friday to pay tribute to Karel Čapek, one of the greatest Czech writers of the 20th century. The annual meeting at the writer's graveside, which takes place on the occassion of his death on December 25, 1938, is organised by the Brothers Čapek Society. Karel Čapek is probably best known for his science-fiction novels, debating the ethicalaspect of human inventions. According to one of the participants of the meeting, screenwriter Vladimír Kučera, Čapek's thoughts remain valid to this day.
When one half of the Čapek brothers villa was put up for sale by the relatives of Karel Čapek’s wife on May, some were worried that the famous writer’s residence, where many important works were written, would be sold to a private owner and closed off to the public for good. The Prague 10 district council put the concerns to rest on Monday when it voted to purchase the villa for 44 million crowns. The owner, Karel Scheinpflug, was willing to lower the original asking price of 55 million, in order to make the residence a public space. Radio Prague
Prague 10 municipal council approved a plan to buy a villa in the Vinohrady district of the capital which once belonged to the writer Karel Čapek. The municipality earmarked nearly 44 million crowns for the purchase. The villa, built in the 1920s, houses part of the writer’s archive, his library and some of his personal belongings. The owner, a distant relative of Karel Čapek’s wife, had been offered a higher price by other interested buyers but said he wanted to sell the property to Prague 10. The villa should eventually be open to the public as a museum dedicated to the writer.