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meteor putnam 1935 Meteor by Karel Capek. New York. 1935. Putnam. 256 pages. hardcover. Translated from the Czech by M. & R. Weatherall. 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In a magnificent display of technical and intellectual brilliance, Karel Capek has produced not only an original, but also a moving and tender novel. An aeroplane crashes in flames. The pilot is killed, and the passenger, shockingly burned, internally injured, unidentifiable. The identity of the aeroplane is also a mystery, and after some days of unconsciousness the passenger dies - nameless and unknown. Three people - a nurse, a clairvoyant, and a poet - are so moved by his fate that each of them reconstructs one aspect of the circumstances that led him to such a terrible end. Through their imaginations we learn the whole story. The core of the narrative is psychologically sound. It is plausible and it is compelling. But there is an illusive beauty playing through the pages of METEOR, sensitive and delicate, casting a spell over the events - and over the reader. It will add many readers to Capek’s select but devotedly appreciative audience in this country. ‘Both the subject and technique of Karel Capek’s novel are refreshingly unusual. The book is impressive in its sheer candle power, its richness of suggestion and its deep psychological understanding.’ —Time and Tide (London). ‘With what a light touch, with what agility, Mr. Capek keeps us in touch with essentials! Imaginative in the best sense, compassionate and enjoying life’s many flavors, humorous, a little melancholy, he stands all by himself.’ - The Spectator (London).

 

 

Capek Karel Karel Capek (January 9, 1890 - December 25, 1938), Czech dramatist, novelist, and essayist, was born in 1890 in a small town in northern Bohemia. He studied at the University of Prague where he graduated as doctor of philosophy and then devoted himself to authorship. His literary reputation was established by his play R.U.R. (1920), which had an international vogue. In the following year came THE WORLD WE LIVE IN (the insect play), which was written in collaboration with his brother, Josef. The fantastic elements in these two plays are found also in the two novels which immediately followed them, ABSOLUTE AT LARGE (1923) and KRAKATIT (1924). Quite a different phase of his activity is seen in his LETTERS FROM ITALY (1924), a type of travel book which was repeated very successfully in LETTERS FROM ENGLAND’ (1924), LETTERS FROM SPAIN (1931), and LETTERS FROM HOLLAND (1933). His TALES FROM TWO POCKETS (1932) show him to be as skilful in handling realistic subject-matter as he was previously in the treatment of fantastic themes, and several of these tabloid detective stories are models of their kind. In general it may be said that Capek introduced a new spirit into Czech literature by blending a whimsical humour, derived at least in part from the study of English writers, with his native capacity for taking life seriously.


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