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Karel Capek saw the future…and it was pernicious gadgetry. Perhaps the greatest Czech author of the first half of the 20th century, Capek spent his career as a novelist, playwright, and columnist exposing the corrosiveness of totalitarianism and human rapaciousness with his hefty sense of humor. His play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots)which introduced the word “robot” into the English languagedepicts a world in which our inventionscreated to maximize our efficiencyeventually turn on us. An outspoken anti-fascist with a deep love for his country, Capek refused to leave his homeland even when a Nazi invasion was inevitableand even though he knew he would be a target. Share your love of Capek’s work, or learn more about this remarkable literary and political figure, when the Embassy of the Czech Republic co-sponsors an evening of presentations and readings at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Jennifer Agresta)