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One Human Minute (...) is a review of a book of statistical tables, a compilation that includes everything that happens to human life on the planet within any given 60 second period.  One of Lem's most diverting and thought-provoking abilities is his gift for taking mundane realities, paradoxes and horrors and flying with them to heights of imaginative, logical absurdity.  There are occasional flashes of such wit in this piece (...)

Lynn Harnett, Portsmouth Herald

 

5.00 out of 5 based on 1 ratings1 user reviews.
STATISTICAL TRUTH Reviewed by Kerry Leimer on . Stanislaw Lem is one among the few authors to look frankly at the human condition, define the perceptual boundaries that shape our awareness, our cultures and our potential, and tell us that, despite our nearly crippling ways of being, what we have we must hold dear. "One Human Minute" is only one aspect of this dressed-down yet curiously uplifting view of being human, adding a statistical perspective to his perhaps better-known characterizations of isolation, loss and pain. "Solaris" and its mirror "The Invincible", as well as the staggeringly dark "Fiasco" each demonstrate the variety, texture and opacity of the walls which make us what we are while simultaneously delimiting our awareness of outer and inner existence. The persistence of these works in bringing the reader face-to-face with unknowability should drive out many of the preconceptions on which we base our sense of self. Free of the musical ditties that, with drowning sentimentality falsely reassure us close encounters of any kind will forever be of the all-singing, all-dancing variety, Lem tells us instead that we are each on our own and that there's really nothing all that terrible about it. As long as we recognize the limitless limitations. "One Human Minute" provides a less emotional exploration of our being. Here, Lem puts us objectively in our places -- one among the masses, defined by shared parameters, weights and measures that cut deeply into our personal sense of "uniqueness". It is a bracing perspective, one that is hardly popular, despite being the only cure for our species' overbearing, top-of-the-foodchain hubris. He is gone now, but his work and his ideas will continue to compel anyone willing to openly think about what it means to be, to see the world with less of a tint. Or is it taint? Kerry Leimer Rating: 5 5