Čapek’s word robot appeared 100 years ago. In the game RUR studied by amateurs – Man – Science and technology

Karel Capek.

The word robot is one of the few that Czech gave in a foreign language in the 20th century. It comes from Karel Čapek’s scientific play called RUR, which has become world-famous with this very word.

Čapek’s brother Jozef coined the word itself. The play RUR was first staged 100 years ago, on January 2, 1921, by the Unity of Theater Amateurs of Klicper in Hradec Králové, the official premiere was then at the National Theater in Prague on January 25, 1921.

The circumstances of the world premiere of Rossum’s universal robots, as the full title of the work sounds, were strange. To the surprise of everyone, even Čapek himself, the local amateur association studied the game in Hradec Králové. For technical reasons, the National Theater in Prague had to postpone the premiere by almost a month, and the letter, which he ordered the amateurs to wait for their premiere, allegedly did not arrive.

Čapek started inventing the game while working on another work called From the Life of an Insect. There is talk of a state called Mravenika, where ants work like machines and are willing to die in the interest of the collective. This state became his inspiration for robots.

But the idea of ​​artificial beings was not new. It has invaded humanity since ancient times, as evidenced, for example, by the legends of the Golem. And in Čapek’s time, the character of the Golem was very popular, he subconsciously inspired the writer: “RUR is actually a translation of the Golem legend into a modern form. However, this only occurred to me when the RUR was ready. Hell, that’s a Golem, I thought, The Robot is a Golem in Mass Factory. ”

But at first he didn’t know how to name an artificial being. He consulted with his brother Jozef. Karel suggested a lab, but he didn’t feel good. He only liked Joseph’s proposal, a robot derived from the word robot. And Čapek derived the name of Mr. Rossum, the inventor of robots, from the word reason.

For Čapek, the robots were no mechanism or animated matter, but a miracle of human biological and chemical skills. He did not understand them as machines, so he always wrote the word Robot in capital letters. They were biological creatures, creatures in the same style as the British writer Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

The game of perfect robots was supposed to warn of possible negative effects of technology on humanity. Čapek projected into it his interest in technology, but also concerns about the future of humanity, based on experience with drastic destruction during the First World War.

The game itself was written by Čapek during his stay in Trenčianske Teplice, where his father was a spa doctor.

The drama was a great success. She played in America, London, Japan and the Soviet Union. And it is known to this day.

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Source: Pravda.sk – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.

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