I’ve read all the plays provided in this collection of Capek’s works, thanks to writing an essay, in university, on all the plays by Capek I could find at the time. this book starts with two play scripts - R.U.R., and The Makropulos Secret - and I’m choosing not to reread them, as I finally get back to this book, with my focus being all the short writings and essays I’ve never read before. the first thing I’ll be reading is an essay called ‘Inventions’.
I enjoyed all of Capek’s plays, even the particularly depressing one that comes up later in this book called The Mother. interestingly, only one Act of The Insect Play is included in this book; I recall the university library was handy for the entire Insect Play, as well as many hard to find Capek scripts, including my favorite, even if it is all but forgotten, called Adam the Creator, written by Karel, along with his brother Josef, who, it is my recollection from my researches, did not survive the Holocaust.
some trivia: I got an ‘A’ on my Capek essay; while at university, I remember being at a pub with my friend Rob, and our Czech waitress was very impressed with how much I knew about all Capek’s plays and his novels...apparently, I liked the loose trilogy - Hordubal, Meteor, and An Ordinary Life - more than she did (I think she was more of an Insect Play lady, can’t say she had bad taste), and meanwhile Rob thought I should ask her for a date as the discussion of the bulk of Capek’s longer works got quite intense...but I was too shy.
When ruling is based, and made stringent, on fear of an outside opponent, and someone has the brilliant idea of escalating yet to marking a personal opponent as an outsider, and it catches.
Might be easier to stomach going in without knowing how the episode goes and likely part of the reason that one was picked: no way really. Because no sucker-punch surprise horror can surpass the terror of inevitability, of seeing the evil the pettiness, the hysterical fanaticism and envy wreaths, knowing all the while the devastation it lead to.
I'm a bit discomfited by the part women play on this, saints or demons with little true humanity, but as a whole, a masterful depiction that ages all too well for my ease of mind.
Giles Corey, the contentious, canny old man, takes the badass-crown with his memetic "More weight". He knew what it was all about, and everyone could keep their saintliness debate to themselves. With Proctor the sinner and Hale the naive believer, they make a nice triad.
Our difficulty in believing the—for want of a better word—political inspiration of the Devil is due in great part to the fact that he is called up and damned not only by our social antagonists but by our own side, whatever it may be. The Catholic Church, through its Inquisition, is famous for cultivating Lucifer as the arch-fiend, but the Church’s enemies relied no less upon the Old Boy to keep the human mind enthralled. Luther was himself accused of alliance with Hell, and he in turn accused his enemies. To complicate matters further, he believed that he had had contact with the Devil and had argued theology with him.
That last bit was funny if cynical. What is building to, what follows
In the countries of the Communist ideology, all resistance of any import is linked to the totally malign capitalist succubi, and in America any man who is not reactionary in his views is open to the charge of alliance with the Red hell. Political opposition, thereby, is given an inhumane overlay which then justifies the abrogation of all normally applied customs of civilized intercourse. A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence. Once such an equation is effectively made, society becomes a congerie of plots and counterplots, and the main role of government changes from that of the arbiter to that of the scourge of God.
is to be taken dead serious.