Frases de Karel Čapek

Karel Čapek Foto
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Karel Čapek

Fecha de nacimiento: 9. Enero 1890
Fecha de muerte: 25. Diciembre 1938

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Karel Čapek [ˈkarɛl ˈt͡ʃapɛk] fue uno de los escritores en lengua checa más importantes del siglo XX. Acuñó el moderno concepto de robot. Pese a la leyenda, el término se lo farfulló su hermano Josef entre pinceles cuando Karel le preguntaba sobre cómo llamar a esos seres de su nueva obra teatral.

La palabra robot deriva de la forma robota . El caso es que el término aparece por primera vez en su obra de teatro R.U.R. , en 1920, tras cuyo estreno y éxito en Praga y posteriormente en Londres y Nueva York se introdujo en todas las lenguas.

Realizó sus estudios de filosofía y estética en la Universidad Carolina, pero también cursó estudios en la Universidad Humboldt de Berlín y en La Sorbona.

Uno de los primeros relatos fantásticos de Karel Čapek se titula La fábrica del absoluto : en un Universo concebido según las teorías panteístas de Baruch Spinoza y las de la relatividad, el invento de un ingeniero trastorna la conducta humana y la social cuando, desintegrando la materia para producir energía, libera también el místico "Divino Absoluto".

Una obra que se suele encuadrar en el género de la ciencia ficción por su carácter distópico es La guerra de las salamandras , novela de finísima ironía que se considera una sátira sobre el nazismo. A saber: una nueva especie de criatura es descubierta, y se trata de una salamandra gigante, adscrita al género Andrias y que se empeñan en que sea la especie extinta Andrias scheuchzeri, capaz de aprender de los humanos pese a no tener en principio una inteligencia similar. El sistema capitalista mundial se aprovecha de las criaturas para realizar todo tipo de labores ingratas al ser humano, y todos los países empiezan a adquirirlas en gran número... Pero casi nadie es consciente de que la extensión de las salamandras por el globo es una amenaza . Se critica sucintamente en el libro a un nazismo efervescente y a un sistema económico y un "orden" mundial incapaces en pararle los pies. Además del trasfondo político y filosófico, la novela de Čapek también contiene guiños al mundo periodístico . En la obra se emplea con mucha gracia un procedimiento de collage que no reproducen bien la mayoría de las ediciones en español.

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Frases Karel Čapek

„Be these people either Conservatives or Socialists, Yellows or Reds, the most important thing is — and that is the point I want to stress — that all of them are right in the plain and moral sense of the word. . .“

— Karel Čapek
Context: Be these people either Conservatives or Socialists, Yellows or Reds, the most important thing is — and that is the point I want to stress — that all of them are right in the plain and moral sense of the word... I ask whether it is not possible to see in the present social conflict of the world an analogous struggle between two, three, five equally serious verities and equally generous idealisms? I think it is possible, and that is the most dramatic element in modern civilization, that a human truth is opposed to another human truth no less human, ideal against ideal, positive worth against worth no less positive, instead of the struggle being as we are so often told, one between noble truth and vile selfish error. R.U.R. supplement in The Saturday Review (1923)

„Relativism is not indifference; on the contrary, passionate indifference is necessary in order for you not to hear the voices that oppose your absolute decrees“

— Karel Čapek
Context: Socialism is good when it comes to wages, but it tells me nothing when it comes to other questions in life that are more private and painful, for which I must seek answers elsewhere. Relativism is not indifference; on the contrary, passionate indifference is necessary in order for you not to hear the voices that oppose your absolute decrees … Relativism is neither a method of fighting, nor a method of creating, for both of these are uncompromising and at times even ruthless; rather, it is a method of cognition. If one must fight or create, it is necessary that this be preceded by the broadest possible knowledge... One of the worst muddles of this age is its confusing of the ideas behind combative and cognitive activity. Cognition is not fighting, but once someone knows a lot, he will have much to fight for, so much that he will be called a relativist because of it. "On Relativism" (1925)

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„I've tried all isolating materials that might possibly prevent the Absolute from getting out of the cellar: ashes, sand, metal walls, but nothing can stop it.“

— Karel Čapek
Context: I've tried all isolating materials that might possibly prevent the Absolute from getting out of the cellar: ashes, sand, metal walls, but nothing can stop it. I've even tried lining the cellar walls with the works of Professors Krejci, Spencer, and Haeckle, all the Positivists you can think of; if you can believe it, the Absolute penetrates even things like that.

„I don’t know if you could prove that every theft is wrong; but I can prove to you that every theft is against the law, because I can arrest you every time.“

— Karel Čapek
Context: Look, justice has to be as unquestioned as the multiplication tables. I don’t know if you could prove that every theft is wrong; but I can prove to you that every theft is against the law, because I can arrest you every time. If you scattered pearls in the street, then a policeman could give you a ticket for littering. But if you started performing miracles, we couldn’t stop you, unless we called it a public nuisance or unlawful public assembly. There must be some kind of breach of order for us to intervene. Sgt. Bartosek, in "Šlépeje" ["Footprints"] (1929) as translated by Norma Comrada, in Toward the Radical Center: A Karel Čapek Reader (1990), edited by Peter Kussi, p. 236

„To be small, unsettled and uncompleted is a good and courageous mission.“

— Karel Čapek
Context: I have seen greatness and power, wealth, prosperity and incomparable development. I was never sad that we are a small and unfinished part of the world. To be small, unsettled and uncompleted is a good and courageous mission.

„I think it is possible, and that is the most dramatic element in modern civilization, that a human truth is opposed to another human truth no less human, ideal against ideal, positive worth against worth no less positive, instead of the struggle being as we are so often told, one between noble truth and vile selfish error.“

— Karel Čapek
Context: Be these people either Conservatives or Socialists, Yellows or Reds, the most important thing is — and that is the point I want to stress — that all of them are right in the plain and moral sense of the word... I ask whether it is not possible to see in the present social conflict of the world an analogous struggle between two, three, five equally serious verities and equally generous idealisms? I think it is possible, and that is the most dramatic element in modern civilization, that a human truth is opposed to another human truth no less human, ideal against ideal, positive worth against worth no less positive, instead of the struggle being as we are so often told, one between noble truth and vile selfish error. R.U.R. supplement in The Saturday Review (1923)

„One of the worst muddles of this age is its confusing of the ideas behind combative and cognitive activity. Cognition is not fighting, but once someone knows a lot, he will have much to fight for, so much that he will be called a relativist because of it.“

— Karel Čapek
Context: Socialism is good when it comes to wages, but it tells me nothing when it comes to other questions in life that are more private and painful, for which I must seek answers elsewhere. Relativism is not indifference; on the contrary, passionate indifference is necessary in order for you not to hear the voices that oppose your absolute decrees … Relativism is neither a method of fighting, nor a method of creating, for both of these are uncompromising and at times even ruthless; rather, it is a method of cognition. If one must fight or create, it is necessary that this be preceded by the broadest possible knowledge... One of the worst muddles of this age is its confusing of the ideas behind combative and cognitive activity. Cognition is not fighting, but once someone knows a lot, he will have much to fight for, so much that he will be called a relativist because of it. "On Relativism" (1925)

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