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Believe in People

Karel Capek
Translated by Šárka Tobrmanová-Kühnová

A hugely engaging collection of pieces by Karel Capek, one of the great European writers of the last century.

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Playful and provocative, irreverent and inspiring, Capek is perhaps the best-loved Czech writer of all time. Novelist and playwright, famed for inventing the word ‘robot’ in his play RUR, Capek was a vital part of the burgeoning artistic scene of Czechoslovakia of the 1920s and 30s. But it is in his journalism – his brief, sparky and delightful columns – that Capek can be found at his most succinct, direct and appealing.

This selection of Capek’s writing, translated into English for the first time, contains his essential ideas. The pieces are animated by his passion for the ordinary and the everyday – from laundry to toothache, from cats to cleaning windows – his love of language, his lyrical observations of the world and above all his humanism, his belief in people. His letters to his wife Olga, also published here, are extraordinarily moving and beautifully distinct from his other writings.

Uplifting, enjoyable and endlessly wise, Believe in People is a collection to treasure.

Critic Reviews

Praise for John Carey and What Good are the Arts?:

'Exhilarating and suggestive ... Professor John Carey is at his most acerbic, combative and impassioned in this brilliant polemic.' - Rupert Christiansen, Spectator

An informative, thought-provoking and entertaining book on a subject that rarely produces writing with all three qualities. - David Lodge, Sunday Times

Brilliantly stimulating and timely. - Helen Meany, Irish Times

Engaged, provocative and frequently funny. - Sam Leith, Daily Telegraph

'Incisive and inspirational ... How interesting it would be if Carey's anti-elitist values were adopted and put into practice. Next time the post of chair of the Arts Council becomes vacant, someone ought to nominate him.' - Blake Morrison, Guardian