Sunday, January 9, 2011

Karel Capek (January 9, 1890)

Capek was a Czech writer. In his most famous play, RUR, he invented the modern sci-fi idea of a robot. Moreover, he invented the word ROBOT.  Capek, not himself Jewish, credited the Jewish legend of the Golem -- associated with Prague -- as one source for his imagining of the robot.

Isaac Asimov (born January 2, 1920) expanded on Capek's idea of robots in a number of his works. I think of the legend of the Golem, which appears in a vast number of 20th century works of fiction, as a Jewish contribution to general literature, along with many others.

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