From the internationally acclaimed Czech writer Karel Capek comes this beautifully written and marvelously apt account of the trials and tribulations of the gardener’s life. First published in Prague in 1929, The Gardener’s Year combines a richly comic portrait of life in the garden, narrated month by month, with a series of delightful illustrations by the author’s older brother and collaborator, Josef. Capek’s gardeners—all too human, despite their lofty aspirations—often look the fool, whether they be found sopping wet, victims of the cobralike water hose, or hunched over, hands immersed in the soil, “presenting their rumps to the splendid azure sky.” In their repeated folly, Capek gives us not only cause for laughter but also, in the end, “testimony of the imperishable and miraculous optimism of the human race.”
This Modern Library edition is published with a new Introduction by Verlyn Klinkenborg, a New York Times editorialist and the author of Making Hay and The Last Fine Time.
The Czech writer Karel Capek (1890-1938) was renowned for his satirical play R.U.R., in which he coined the word "robot" (from the Czech word for "peasant")--a blistering attack on technology in the service of regimentation. Perhaps surprisingly, Capek was also a dedicated gardener. In THE GARDENER'S YEAR, his classic, month-by-month walk through the garden, Capek vividly communicates the delight he took in digging in the soil and growing things--and the often comical frustrations he found there as well. First published in Prague in 1929, THE GARDENER'S YEAR is illustrated with witty little line drawings by his brother Josef, with whom he built a house and planted a garden, that bring Capek's humorous prose even further to life.
- Science, Literary Collections, Gardening
- General, Life Sciences / Horticulture, Garden Design, Essays
- February 1, 2002
- February 1, 2002
- Karel Capek
- Josef Capek