First edition of the work that coined the word "robot," and one of the most influential texts in the history of science fiction.
"The image of the robot represents the logical outcome [...] of living and working in a world where human autonomy is not only superfluous but also directly counterproductive." – Anatomy of Wonder
In Čapek's play, artificial humanoid organisms made in a factory become discontented and eventually rebel, leading to the extinction of the human race. With the help of his brother Josef, Karel Čapek developed the term "robot" from the Czech word "robota, " or forced labor; the root of the word means "slave." Although similar descriptors remain in use, such as "automaton" and "android, " it is Čapek's term, evoking an inherent ethical conflict, that would become the global standard. In 1938, the play was adapted for television by the BBC, becoming the first ever science fiction-themed TV broadcast, and Isaac Asimov's famous "Three Laws of Robotics" are widely considered a response to the problems raised by Čapek. The influence of R.U.R.'s dystopian themes has been felt not only in science fiction, but alongside advances in computing and information technology throughout the twentieth century.
Read more: Bleiler, Anatomy of Wonder (2nd edition).
Praze [Prague]: Vydalo Aventinum, 1920. 8.5'' x 5.75''. Original violet and white patterned wrappers. Woodcut vignettes on front free endpaper and title page. Text in Czech. 98,  pages. Touch of expert archival paper repair to spine. Toning to spine and along margin of rear wrapper, only very light edgewear.
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