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krakatit Krakatit by Karel Capek. New York. 1925. Macmillan. Translated from the Czech by Lawrence Hyde. 408 pages.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   ‘Krakatit’ is an explosive powerful enough to destroy the world, which was discovered by the engineer Prokup. It is stolen from him, and he begins a long search to find the thief and recover the precious few grains which threaten the earth. The story leads to Balttin Castle, and its munition factory, where Prokup is held prisoner to force him to reveal the formula for Krakatit (and where he falls in love with a princess).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capek Karel Karel Capek (January 9, 1890 - December 25, 1938) was one of the most influential Czech writers of the 20th century. Capek was born in Malé Svatonovice, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic). He wrote with intelligence and humour on a wide variety of subjects. His works are known for their interesting and precise descriptions of reality, and Capek is renowned for his excellent work with the Czech language. He is perhaps best known as a science fiction author, who wrote before science fiction became widely recognized as a separate genre. He can be considered one of the founders of classical, non-hardcore European science fiction, a type which focuses on possible future (or alternative) social and human evolution on Earth, rather than technically advanced stories of space travel. However, it is best to classify him with Aldous Huxley and George Orwell as a speculative fiction writer, distinguishing his work from genre-specific hard science fiction. Many of his works discuss ethical and other aspects of revolutionary inventions and processes that were already anticipated in the first half of 20th century. These include mass production, atomic weapons, and post-human intelligent beings such as robots or intelligent salamanders. In addressing these themes, Capek was also expressing fear of impending social disasters, dictatorship, violence, and the unlimited power of corporations, as well as trying to find some hope for human beings.

  


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