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Poland remembers Stanislaw Lem

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 12.09.2011 11:50
Today marks the 90th birth anniversary of Poland’s leading science-fiction and fantasy author, Stanisław Lem.

His output, encompassing novels, short stories, and philosophical essays, has been translated into over 40 languages and released in more than 30 million copies across the globe.

Revered by science-fiction buffs the world over, the writer’s most celebrated books include Return from the Stars, Tales of Pirx the Pilot, The Cyberiad, and The Chain of Chance.

One of his most acclaimed novels, Solaris, prompted two adaptations by prominent filmmakers USSR Sergei Tarkovsky and US Steven Sondenbergh.

Stanisław Lem is widely considered to have revamped the science-fiction genre, by expanding its scope of interest with humanistic-oriented themes, alongside sharing reflections on implications stemming from scientific and technological advancement for mankind.

In one of his interviews for Polish Radio, Lem commented on his reputed visionary capabilities of foretelling the course of social progress:

"I am not the kind of person to sit down in front of a typewriter with the intention to forecast the future of humanity,” he said. “But it seems that many of my offhand hypotheses and ideas come true. Why? I haven't the slightest idea."

Stanisław Lem often expressed concern over the reckless exploitation of cutting-edge technology by modern civilisation:

"It is my biggest worry that humanity has a very frivolous approach, and is using the fruit of progressing technology in an increasingly disgraceful way. It is a phenomenon I cannot pretend to turn a blind eye to."

Stanisław Lem was born in Lviv in 1921. His accomplishments yielded him honorary degrees at many universities alongside the Order of the White Eagle, one of the highest distinctions in Poland. The author died in Krakow on 27 March 2006. (ab/pg)

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