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(born Jan. 9, 1890, Malé Svatonovice, Bohemia, Austria-Hungarydied Dec. 25, 1938, Prague, Czech.) Czech novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. Capek's black utopias, works showing the dangers of technological progress, include the cautionary play R.U.R.: Rossum's Universal Robots (1920), a depiction of a society dependent on mechanical workers called robots (a term he coined from a Czech word for forced labour). The comic fantasy The Insect Play (1921; with his brother Josef) satirizes human greed. The Makropoulos Affair (1922) was made into an opera by Leoš Janácek. Capek explored aspects of knowledge in the novel trilogy Hordubal (1933), Meteor (1934), and An Ordinary Life (1934).
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