The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

January 9, 2014

January 9, 1890

Karel Capek, (January 9, 1890 to December 25, 1938) was a Czechoslovakian writer and artist. He is best known for his play R.U.R.: Rossum’s Universal Robots (1920) He, his brother Josef, and his wife were all artists very prolific in various fields. A few of his works include:

Letters from England (1924 travel guide)
The Absolute at Large (1922 novel)
The Noetic Trilogy (three novels published in 1933 and 1934. They are said to investigate the nature of knowedge.)

Capek was also famed for being anti-communist and anti-fascist. He may have trusted the Western powers to protect his homeland from the Germans. He was more fortunate than his brother Josef, in that he died before he could be picked up.

The variety of Karel Capek's work includes a humorous look at pets entitled I Had a Dog and a Cat (1940). Our citation of course is from an English translation by Marie and Robert Weatherall, available in 1941. The illustrations for I had a Dog and a Cat is commonly attributed to his brother Josef, but the title page makes clear both Karel and Josef did the drawings.  While it helps to recall that all lives are interrupted, the book includes a short story, "The Immortal Cat."

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