In 1924's Krakitit (published in English as An Atomic Fantasy), Czechoslovakian writer Karl Capek's solitary genius invents an atomic explosive. The protagonist, seriously injured in an accidental blast, is delirious for the first few chapters, leading to some marvelously surreal writing.
Unfortunately, the novel then degenerates into romantic melodrama fraught with emotional hand-wringing. The ending, as in many Capek novels, is glib: the diabolical invention is destroyed forever, and Our Hero is urged to find peaceful ways to harness atomic energy.
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