Krakatit

CAPEK, Karel. Krakatit.

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CAPEK, Karel Krakatit London: Geoffrey Bles, 1925.

8vo., publisher's grey cloth, titles in red to upper board and spine, along with publisher's device; in the wonderfully illustrated dust-jacket designed by Kenneth Romney Towndrow, priced 7/6 to spine; pp. [iv], 5-415, [i]; outer edges spotted, lightly pushed to spine ends; endpapers, particularly to rear, with some brown patches; otherwise a sound copy in the unrestored jacket which is a little browned along spine, some shelf-wear and nicks to spine ends; very good.
First edition of this scarce work of science fiction, originally published in the author's native Czech the year before.
An important work of sci-fi, which some claim is prophetic in its pre-empting of the atomic bomb. The plot centres around a chemist, Mr. Prokop, who is able to produce an especially powerful explosive from the splitting an atom. He names it 'Krakatit', after the Indonesian volcano. Somewhat like its namesake, the chemical erupts without warning.
A key work from one of the the most influential Czech writers of the 20th century, who popularised the term 'Robot'.
“A rich and wildly imagined work, unusual in its almost orgiastic baroque exploration of power, sexuality, and guilt.” (Bleiler).

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