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Written during and right after World War I, this volume pairs two short story collections from Karel Capek, considered one of the greatest Czech writers. The first collection, Wayside Crosses,” presents an agonized and unsuccessful search for God and truth. These metaphysical tales are not about finding God as much as they are about discovering man’s limitations, his terror and helplessness, and understanding the value of the ongoing search. The second collection, Painful Tales,” contains more realistic stories of characters being forced to make choices in which one good conflicts with another.