R.U.R.--written in 1920, premiered in Prague in 1921, and first performed in New York in 1922--garnered worldwide acclaim for its author and popularized the word robot. Mass-produced as efficient laborers to serve man, Capek's Robots are an android product--they remember everything but think of nothing new. But the Utopian life they provide ultimately lacks meaning, and the humans they serve stop reproducing. When the Robots revolt, killing all but one of their masters, they must strain to learn the secret of self-duplication. It is not until two Robots fall in love and are christened Adam and Eve by the last surviving human that Nature emerges triumphant.
Karel Capek (1890 1938) was the leading Czech playwright, novelist, and columnist between the wars. He is best known for R. U. R. and his novel, War with the Newts. Ivan Klima is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and essayist whose work was long suppressed under Communism.