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A Stanislaw Lem Reader by Peter Swirski

By Peter Swirski

A sequence of interviews and important dialogues with the past due Stanislaw Lem whose writings were translated into over forty languages and feature offered over 35 million copies. in the event you simply understand him as a novelist, A Stanislaw Lem Reader is a superb advent to Lem's philosophy, clinical hypothesis, literary feedback, and social idea, whereas closing completely available to readers strange with any of his works.

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Extra resources for A Stanislaw Lem Reader

Sample text

Excuse me, but to study someone who fights battles with himself could be of interest only to people who have more time to spare than myself. But all this writing does not even graze the surface of the difficulties and dilemmas with which philosophers must contemporarily come to terms. What, for example, is one supposed to do with the fact that the same mathematical structure of a law (or theory) of physics may give rise to totally different, or even incompatible, interpretations? Scientists try to explain what it means for the same entity to be sometimes matter and at other times a wave, but it does not change the fact that this duality can be interpreted in a number of ways.

The paradigmatic structure of the fairy tale allows the writer to do that, as well as a whole lot of other things. In the same way, when I write my fictions, I can approach certain issues conventionally. I can pretend, for example, that I do not realize that Solaris depicts a solar system situated very far away from Earth. We all know that if it was really that far, nobody could reach it in the span of human life without some form of hibernation or other technology. I am perfectly well aware of that, but I leave all this, as it were, outside the covers of the book.

There are problems which I realize I am not competent to solve, and when I become aware of it, I ask advice of someone who knows more than I do. The conviction that one has learned all there is to learn is one of the most pernicious selfdelusions that can ever befall anybody. Swirski: Your last thoughts on literature and philosophy? Lem: My last thoughts? I am a staunch adherent to the maxim that literature, much as philosophy, should never bore its readers to death. Reading should never be a matter of struggling through a jungle of words and concepts, with difficulty and discomfort, in order to grasp what should come naturally.

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