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Karel Čapek was born at Malé Svatoňovice, Bohemia, in 1890. He studied philosophy and literature at the universities of Prague, Berlin and Paris, where he defended a thesis on esthetics in 1915. After his studies he devoted himself to literature and translation, publishing works of French poetry and Anglo-Saxon philosophy during the war. After 1919, he focused on theatre and directed the city theatre in Prague where he staged for the first time Les Conci de Shelley.
Čapek became a member of the Permanent Committee on Arts and Letters in 1931. At the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC) he advocated a number of measures meant to use music as a means for mutual understanding between peoples. In 1937 he also participated in a collective work, entitled “Vers un novel humanisme”, part of the IIIC’s series of interviews. He died in 1938 in Prague.
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- UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1 : IICI, "Bulletin de la Coopération intellectuelle", n°3, mars 1931, p. 104.
- UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1 : IICI/ 01. "Première session du Comité permanent des Lettres et des Arts. Les Arts et les Lettres à la Société des Nations. Propositions de MM. Paul Valéry et Henri Focillon". Supplément au n°7-8 du Bulletin de la Coopération intellectuelle. Paris : IICI, 1931. 51 pages.
- UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1 : Boîte 529. IICI-CICI. LA / 31. Comité permanent des Lettres et des Arts, 1e session, Genève, 6-9 juillet 1931, "Propositions de M. Karel Čapek, Membre du Comité permanent des Lettres et des Arts", 2 p.
- UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1 : IICI/01. IICI, Coopération intellectuelle, n°97-98, janvier-février 1939, "Nécrologie. Karel Čapek", p. 726-727.