“Life is easier and more playful the moment we live through something very little. It is rid of tragedy and sorrow. The liberating beauty of little things is the fact that they are insuperably comic.” ~Karel Čapek
Because of spondyloarthritis of the vertebrae, Čapek was exempt from compulsory military service. Due to a shortage in work during the First World War, he served as a tutor to the son of Count Vladimír Lažanský and briefly as a voluntary librarian before returning to Prague to become a journalist. A staunch believer in the individual and supporter of democracy, Čapek’s anti-fascist views were firmly embedded in his writing. As a journalist, he wrote every day, even in candlelight. In 1917, he became a member of the board of editors of the Narod (Nation) magazine, literary and art editor of Národní listy (National Pages), and he wrote a weekly satire for Nebojsa (The Unafraid). He later accepted a job as editor of Lidove Noviny (The People’s Newspaper) on the condition that his brother also would work there. He was also a member of the International PEN and established the Czechoslovak PEN Club, chairing it from 1925 to 1933. Through the PEN Club, he was acclimated with such writers as Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Herbert George Wells, and George Bernard Shaw.
Photo Courtesy: Karel Čapek Memorial
Karel Čapek at his desk