The Art and Science of Stanislaw Lem
Swirski presents a collection of insights into Stanislaw Lem, with the view to evaluating his influence on Western thought, literature and culture.
from its zero-tolerance consequences.11 In the meantime, the Aviation Security Act turned all airport security personnel into federal employees, de facto the government’s security corps. In Canada Bill C-18 – in February 2003 already on its second reading in the House of Commons – gives federal politicians the right to revoke citizenship or deport immigrants with no resistance and no right of appeal. The almost furtively passed Bill C-17 already gave the state enhanced powers to monitor
meaning and power. Indeed, after forty years, Lem thinks that Summa is his only book of nonﬁction that has withstood the test of time.2 It is therefore unfortunate that the initial readership of Summa was largely restricted to the nascent intellectual and technocratic elite that started to appear in Poland and other countries of the Communist Block in the 1960s. It is even more unfortunate that the situation has not changed much since: the book has been translated only into a handful European
Golem xiv – does not always improve technological solutions, does not care about the fate of individuals or even entire species, does not prevent cosmic disasters and hecatombs, and nourishes a reason that all-too-often strays from the path of rationality towards wildest aberrations. Evolution is a harsh mistress, and it would be vain to expect from it an affectionate attitude towards the world and the life it governs. Moreover, from the human viewpoint, evolution cannot really be comprehended by
rational belief and authentic action take absolute priority over artiﬁcially stimulated payoffs, even when the latter are phenomenologically equivalent, and qualitatively superior to, the experience of realities – whence Lem’s harsh critical asides about a phantomized society and Tichy’s dogged efforts to tear aside the “mascons” and return to an everelusive reality. The attachment to an ever-elusive truth is also central to the thematics of Solaris. Here we encounter a strong, realist afﬁliation
solution to the mystery of the universe and to know the unknown. short stories: adaptations Lem displays a completely different attitude, both in terms of subject matter and the style, in his grotesque science-ﬁction stories. Adapted mainly for television by German and Polish ﬁlmmakers, they bring out the comical and satirical elements of his works. A perfect example may be the adaptation of the story “Wyprawa Profesora Tarantogi” made by German Television in late 1970s – with the script written