39 () 1 On KAREL CAPEK – besprochen von Raoul Eshelman ing concern: . Steiner singles out Capek’s Apokryfy for critical reassessment as a neglected, . Přesto se mi apokryfy moc líbí a jen je to má další kniha v řadě přečtených O escritor tcheco Karel Čapek () já foi objeto de estudo de dois textos. Kniha apokryfů has ratings and 31 reviews. Piet said: Einige Geschichten sind klug und witzig, andere nur klug. Die meisten unterhaltsam. Meine Favor.

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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The stories in this collection tackle great events and figures of history, myth, and literature in unexpected ways, questioning views on such basic concepts as justice, progress, wisdom, belief, and patriotism. Paperbackpages. Published April 1st by Catbird Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please ksrel up.

To ask other readers questions about Apocryphal Talesplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Apr 18, Algernon rated it really liked it Shelves: According to wikipedia, apocrypha are works, usually written works, that are of unknown authorship, or of doubtful authenticity, or spurious, or not considered to be within a particular aporyfy.

But who’s ready to swear that things didn’t happen exactly as Karel Capek describes them in his delightfully satirical and thought provoking collection of revisionist history? Written between two world wars of unprecedented savagery and irrational hatred, these stories According to apojryfy, apocrypha are works, usually written works, that are of unknown authorship, or of doubtful authenticity, or spurious, or not considered to be within a particular canon.

Written between two world wars of unprecedented savagery and irrational hatred, these stories that started as newspaper articles go way beyond the clever and funny literary bagatelle and become a humanist manifesto and a weapon against tyranny and discrimination everywhere.

I was saddened, but not surprised, to find out that Karel Capek was number two on the list of enemies of the state when Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in Anybody who reads his stories, especially today in the third millenium, can see clearly that the more distant the past described in these sketches, the closer the mesasge is to contemporary issues.

I could be lazy and finish my capke with the words of praise from Arthur Miller in There was no writer like him Capeo exhibit is the prologue, The Moving Businesswhere the author acidly proposes that we solve the problems of our modern society by escaping into the past: Let’s say some gentleman comes to me who wants to move somewhere out of this damned century; he’s had it up to the eyeballs, he says, right up to the eyeballs with wars, the arms race, bolsheviks, fascism and, for that matter, progress in general.

I let him go on cussing, and then I say: Please be so good, sir, as to select some other era; here are some brochures for several different centuries. A longer quote serves even better to see the despair behind the laughter, a despair that apokryry so poignat I find it hard to believe this particular piece of writing comes from and not Karwl let’s say you karle yourself that this century’s caepk for you.

There are people who prefer peace and quiet; there are people who get sick to their stomachs when they read in the paper about what’s going on these days, that there is or will be war, that people are being executed somewhere or other, or that somewhere else a few hundred or a few thousand people are killing each other off.

That sort of thing can get on your nerves, friend, and some people can’t take it. Some people don’t like it when every day there’s violence breaking out somewhere in the world, and they think: Here I am, a civilized, temperate family man, and I don’t want my children growing up in such a strange and disord I could even say, a deranged and dangerous world, right?


Well, there are lots of people who think that way, friend, and once you start traveling down that road, you have to admit we can’t really be certain about anything these days: No question about it, there used to be more certainty in this world.

Anyway, there are plenty of good, decent people who don’t like these times at all, and some of them are downright unhappy if not disgusted at having to live on a street that’s so blighted and brutal they don’t even poke their noses outside. There’s nothing they can do about it; but if this is life, they want out. Where would you like to go?

Which century do you think will offer a better chance at prosperity, healthy and peaceful living? Maybe the 19 century industrial revolution with its child labor and rampant pollution? The Illuminism and its guillotine? Medieval Spain at the times of the Inquisition? England when it was visited by its northern neighbors, the Vikings? Or prehistory among the dinosaurs and the pterodactyls? Take your pick, and stop complaining!

Apocryphal Tales

Capek does exactly that, and takes us on a trip through history from the ancient to the contemporary times, focusing on key episodes from mythology, religious or history books. When exactly did we start complaining about ‘les neiges d’antan’, about the things getting worse every day and about how the kids are paying no respect to their elders? When did we become xenophobIC? As if anything good ever came from foreigners! Never, never have any dealings with foreign riffraff! No, do as our forefathers’s experience teaches us to do: That’s what we’ve done since time began: Why exactly was Prometheus punished and by whom?

When did we replace democracy and the rule of law with rumour mongering, character assassination and judgement by media campaigns?

Just Like Old Times “Wait just a minute; how can they shout that he’s innocent when they don’t know for certain what he’s accused of? Why did the Achaeians attack the Trojans?

Was it for aporyfy beautiful face of Helen? We Hellenes are fighting, first of all, so that old fox Agamemnon can rake in a sackful of loot; in the second place, so that fop Achilles can satisfy his outrageous ambition; in the third place, so that crook Oddysseus oarel steal our military supplies; and finally, so that a certain bought-off street singer, Homer or whatever the bum’s name is, for a few grubby pennies, can heap glory on the greatest of all traitors to the Greek nation.

Look at me laughing, all the way down to the gallows, as I see history repeating itself time and time again.

An old philosopher named Agathon holds forth on the meaning of wisdom, and all I can think of is the pitiful theatre of US elections in I know, men of Boeotia, that you are occupied at the moment with elections to the city council, and at times such as this here there is no room for wisdom, not even for reason; elections are an opportunity for cleverness. Agathon continues his expose by explaining to the audience capsk is the difference between cleverness, reason and wisdom: In short, cleverness is a gift or talent, reason is a quality of strength, but wisdom is a virtue.

Cleverness is usually cruel, malicious, and selfish; it seeks a weakness in its neighbor and exploits it for its own gain; it leads to success. Reason is frequently cruel to man, but it is true to its ends and intents; vapek seeks to profit everyone; ksrel it finds weakness apokryfyy ignorance in its neighbor, it attempts to remove it through enlightenment or correction; it leads to improvement.

Wisdom cannot be cruel, for it is pure generosity and good will; it does not seek to profit everyone, for it loves man too much to love instead some more distant goal; if it finds weakness and wretchedness in its neighbor, apokryft forgives it and loves it; it leads to harmony. What drove Alexander the Great to lead his armies all the way to India? It was sheer political necessity.


Kniha apokryfů

The stronger we are, the more enemies we have. Tht’s why we must be the strongest force. Pilates Creed deserves to be quoted in full, as the artist’s humanist manifesto, the foundation of this shelter against the coming fascist storm that Capek is building here: You are a strange people and you talk a great deal. You have all sorts of pharisees, prophets, saviors and other sectarians. Each of you makes his own truth and forbids all other truths. As if a carpenter who makes a new chair were to forbid people sitting on any other chair that someone else had made before him.

As if the making of a new chair canceled out all the old chairs. It’s entirely possible that the new chair is better, more beautiful, and more comfortable than the others, but why in heaven’s name shouldn’t a tired man be able to sit on whatever wretched, worm-eaten, or rock-hard chair he likes?

He’s tired and worn, he badly needs a rest, and here you drag him forcibly out of the seat into which he’s dropped and make him move over to yours. I don’t understand you, Joseph. You people are like children who believe that the whole world ends at their horizon and that nothing lies beyond it. The world is a large place, Joseph, and there is room in it for many things. And I think it is, Joseph.

When you climb to the top of a high mountain, you see the things somehow blend together and level out into a single plain. Even truths blend together from a certain height. Of course, man does not and cannot live on a mountaintop; it’s enough for him if he sees his home or his field close by, both of them filled with truths and such things.

There is his true place and sphere of action. But now and then he can look at a mountain or the sky and say to himself that from there his truths and such things still exist and nothing has been stolen from him; rather, they have blended together with something far more free and unbounded that is no longer his property alone.

To hold fast to this wider view while tilling his own small field – that, Joseph, is something almost like devotion. If those two joined together and understood each other, the whole truth would be known.

Of course, yes and no can’t kwrel together, but people always can; there is more truth in people than in words. I have more understanding of people than of their truths, but there is faith even in that, Joseph of Arimathea, and it is necessary to sustain this faith with ardor and exultation.

Spisovatel a novinář Karel Čapek –

Absolutely and unquestionably, I believe. But what is truth? I am often asked if I am an atheist, and I answer like Pilates here that no, I am a believer. I believe in this higher truth that blends together all the other small truths religions are so fond capeo fighting over, and I believe people are more important than ideas. I am skeptical that any apokyfy person or creed holds in his hands the ultimate truth, but I also believe that a fragment of this truth resides in the deep core of every human being.

It’s called humanism and to my ears it sounds better and more accurate than the word ‘atheism’. After the fiery speech of Pilates, I almost felt like putting the book aside, but the journey is not yet finished. Capek continues with his satirical sketches, taking on artistic expression in a debate between a Byzantine mosaic layer and an iconoclast; rewriting the famous Hamlet monologue to ponder on the responsibility apokryffy the artist to be either an entertainer, a poet or a revolutionary; asking us to reconsider the greatest love of all Romeo and Juliet as the tantrums of moody apokryf