Karel Čapek: Selected Bibliography & Web Links

Compiled by Ralph Dumain


By Čapek

Believe in People: The Essential Karel Čapek, Previously Untranslated Journalism and Letters; selected and translated with an introduction by Šárka Tobrmanová-Kühnová; preface by John Carey. London: Faber and Faber, 2010.

Toward the Radical Center: A Karel Čapek Reader, edited and with an introduction by Peter Kussi; foreword by Arthur Miller. North Haven, CT: Catbird Press, 1990.

Films / videos

Bílá nemoc (The White Disease) | celý film | česká filmová klasika (1937).

Krakatit [1948 Czech film, no subtitles, 1:37:33]

Museums & exhibits

Památník Karla Čapka: Titulní stránka [Karel Čapek Memorial]

About Čapek

Bradbrook, Bohuslava R. Karel Čapek: In Pursuit of Truth, Tolerance, and Trust. Brighton [Eng.]: Sussex Academic Press ; Portland, OR: Sussex Academic Press c/o International Specialized Book Services, 1998.

Doležel, Lubomír. Narrative Modes in Czech Literature. Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1973. See Chapter 4: Karel Čapek and Vladislav Vančura: An Essay in Comparative Stylistics, pp. 91-111.

Harkins, William. Karel Čapek. New York: Columbia University Press, 1962.

Klíma, Ivan. Karel Čapek: Life and Work; translated from the Czech by Norma Comrada. North Haven, CT: Catbird Press, 2002.

Matuska, Alexander. Karel Čapek: An Essay, translated by Cathryn Alan. London: Allen and Unwin, 1964.

On Karel Čapek: A Michigan Slavic Colloquium; edited by Michael Makin and Jindřich Toman. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1992.

Part One
Ivan Klíma
         Scenes from Kora Nanda         3
Part Two
Lubomír Doležel.
         Karel Čapek—a Modern Storyteller   15
Herbert Eagle
         Čapek and Zamiatin—Versions of Dystopia     29
William Harkins
         Čapek’s Early Work Revisited     43
Ladislav Matĕjka
         The Registers of Čapek’s Czech         51
Jan Rubeš
         Constructing Modernity—Čapek’s Translations of French Poetry        59
Peter Steiner
         The Neglected Collection—Čapek’s Apocryphal Stories as Allegory 65
Jindřich Toman
         Karel Čapek, Karl Kraus, and the Theory of the Phrase        87
Robert Wechsler
         Karel Čapek in America    109
Part Three
Margo Apostolos
         Real Robots in R.U.R.—A Choreographer’s Notes    129

Ort, Thomas. Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and His Generation, 1911-1938. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Porter, Robert. An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Czech Fiction: Comedies of Defiance. Brighton; Portland, OR: Sussex Academic Press, 2001. See “Karel Čapek: Whose point of view?”, pp. 27-51.

Schubert, Peter Z. The Narratives of Čapek and Čexov: A Typological Comparison of the Authors’ World Views. Bethesda, MD.: International Scholars, 1997.

Šolić, Mirna. In Search of a Shared Expression: Karel Čapek’s Travels and Imaginative Geography of Europe. Praha: Faculty of Arts, Charles University, 2019. ISBN 9788073089009. Podcast: Karel Čapek: Novelist, playwright – and travel writer.

Riach, Alan. The Virtues of Travel Writing and the Work of Karel Capek [review], The National [Scotland], 7 September 2020.

Suvin, Darko. Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979. See (final) Chapter 12: Karel Čapek, Or the Aliens Amongst Us, pp. 270-283.

Steiner, Peter. The Deserts of Bohemia: Czech Fiction and Its Social Context. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000. See esp. chapter 2: “Radical Liberalism: Apocryphal Stories by Karel Čapek,” pp. 69-93.

Swirski, Peter. From Lowbrow to Nobrow. Montreal; Ithaca: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005. See Part II: Nowbrow: Varieties of Artertainment; Chapter 4: Karel Čapek and the Politics of Memory; pp. 95-120, 187-188.

Wellek, René. Essays on Czech Literature, introduction by Peter Demetz. The Hague: Mouton, 1963. See chapter on Karel Čapek, pp. 46-61. Originally published in the Slavonic Review, Vol. XV, No. 43 (July 1936).


Hester, Jordan Thacker. Karel Čapek, Author of the Apocryphal Tales: A Study of Genre and the Čapekian. Masters thesis, English, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, 2008.


Bradbrook, Bohuslava R., Jr. “Karel Capek’s Contribution to Czech National Literature,” in Czechoslovakia Past and Present: Volume II: Essays on the Arts and Sciences, edited by Miloslav Rechcigl (The Hague: [De Gruyter] Mouton, 1968), pp. 1002-1011.

Haman, Ales; Trensky, Paul I.. “Man Against the Absolute: The Art of Karel Čapek,” Slavic and East European Journal 11, (1967): 168-184. JSTOR.

Mambrol, Nasrullah. “Analysis of Karel Capek’s Novels,” Literariness.org, April 13, 2019.

Sparks, Julie A. “Shaw for the Utopians, Čapek for the Anti-Utopians,” Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies 17, (1997): 165-183. JSTOR.

Science Fiction Studies

Čapek, Karel. The Author of the Robots Defends Himself, #68 (Volume 23, Part 1), March 1996.

Čapek, Karel. Preface to Bílá Nemoc; translated by Renata Flint, introduced by Robert M. Philmus, #83 (Volume 28, Part 1), March 2001.

Csicsery-Ronay, Istvan, Jr. “Twenty-Two Answers and Two Postscripts: An Interview with Stanislaw Lem,” translated by Marek Lugowski, #40 (Volume 13, Part 3), November 1986.

Kinyon, Kamila. “The Phenomenology of Robots: Confrontations with Death in Karel Čapek’s R.U.R.,” #79 (Volume 26, Part 3), November 1999.

Maslen, Elizabeth. “Proper Words in Proper Places: The Challenge of Capek’s War with the Newts,” #41 (Volume 14, Part 1), March 1987.

Philmus, Robert M. “Matters of Translation: Karel Čapek and Paul Selver,” #83 (Volume 28, Part 1, March 2001: 7-32. Abstract.

Philmus, Robert M. “More Timely Than Ever” [review of: Karel Čapek, The Absolute at Large, intro. Stephen Baxter; Bison Frontiers of Imagination; Lincoln, NE: University of  Nebraska Press, 2005], #100 (Volume 33, Part 3), November, 2006.

The Absolute at Large

Čapek, Karel. The Absolute at Large. London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1927. viii, 294 pp. Reprint: New York; London: Garland Publishing Co., Inc., 1975. (The Garland Library of Science Fiction) (Original Czech publication, 1922) Original edition online.

The Absolute at Large [Továrna na absolutno], translated by David Wyllie (2012)

The Absolute at Large - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Absolute at Large (1927) by Karel Capek: reviews: UNZ

Karel Čapek Energies: The Absolute at Large as Proto-Cli-Fi Literature (Episode 7: Retrospective futures), by Andy Hageman, Deletion, October 6, 2014

The Absolute at Large, by Karel Capek, Reviewed by Stuart Aken, 18 May 2012

Lit Novelist Confesses Nerd Love For Sci Fi Classic: Cara Hoffman, All Things Considered, April 20, 2011


Čapek, Karel. Krakatit, translated by Lawrence Hyde. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1925. (Original Czech publication, 1922)

Krakatit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [1948 film]

Krakatit [1948 Czech film, no subtitles, 1:37:33 on YouTube]

Web sites & pages

Works by Čapek at archive.org

Meteor (1935)
Letters From Spain (1932)
Intimate Things (1936)
R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) (2014-09-16), Librivox: sound recording

Karel Capek, 1890-1938

R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), translated by David Wyllie
The War with the Newts (Válka s mloky) (1936), translated by David Wyllie

Karel Čapek (Catbird Press)

Jerz’s Literacy Weblog:
    RUR (Rossum's Universal Robots)
    Other pages on Capek

Karel Čapek website (Dominik Zunt) (on the ghost web, only internal links work)

Karel Čapek (links are dead)

Karel Čapek (Keith Parkins) (Isaac Asimov also covered) (defunct site)

Karel Čapek - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Josef Čapek - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mutual Inspirations Festival 2015 - Karel Čapek (Embassy of the Czech Republic, Washington, DC)

Karel Čapek en Esperanto

Čapek en Esperanto

Karel Čapek (Don Harlow: Tradukita Literaturo en la reto)

Karel Čapek @ Ĝirafo

On this site

Karel Čapek: The Absolute at Large: key philosophical excerpts

War with the Newts (Excerpt on the Language Problem) by Karel Čapek

Poems by Karel (untitled, 1936) & Josef (“Miserable,” 1945?) Čapek

Ikonoklasmo” de Karel Čapek (en Esperanto)

Pri kvin panoj” de Karel Čapek (en Esperanto)

Karel Čapek” [obituary in Spanish] by Jorge Luis Borges

Karel Čapek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), 1920-2020, guide compiled by Ralph Dumain

Karel Čapek en Esperanto

Josef Čapek & James Joyce’s Chamber Music (& Czech & Hungarian reception of James Joyce)

Peter Swirski & artificial intelligence: the last gasp of bourgeois reason by Ralph Dumain

Dystopia west, dystopia east: the vanishing of speculative fiction under Stalinism by Erika Gottlieb

Chapter 5, Labour Process in the Future (excerpts) from Mankind and the Year 2000 (1973) by V. Kosolapov

Karl Marx on automatons, machinery, capital & labor

Ralph Dumain: Antaŭparolo al Karlo Markso: La tiel nomata Fragmento pri maŝinoj (elgermanigita de Vilhelmo Lutermano) [in Esperanto]

Dialectic and Dystopia: A Century Before and After the Russian Revolution Through Literature (transcript of podcast by R. Dumain)

Science Fiction & Utopia Research Resources: A Selective Work in Progress

Sciencfikcio & Utopia Literaturo en Esperanto / Science Fiction & Utopian Literature in Esperanto: Gvidilo / A Guide

Futurology, Science Fiction, Utopia, and Alienation in the Work of Imre Madách, György Lukács, and Other Hungarian Writers: Select Bibliography

Note: This is obviously not an attempt at a comprehensive guide. It reflects my current research interests and will expand accordingly.

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Uploaded 20 June 2016
Last update 25 July 2021
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