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I understand

Among Lem's essays  Summa Technologiae occupies a central position, leaving behind cybernetic DialogsFantastyka i FuturologiaFilolozofia Przypadku (an attempt at a "general theory of everything"). These other works are no less interesting, however  Summa  as a logical argument is "closed". It deals with problems that are even more important now than when the book was written - these issues are the most fascinating fulfillment of Lem's prognoses in the field of culture and technology.

Dialogs are partly "submerged" in an abstract of a philosophical dispute and current political topics; Fantastyka i Futurologia deals with problems of science fiction as a genre and its - usually dishonest - relationship with science. Filozofia Przypadku "erects a building of outlook" searching for structures common to biological evolution, history, culture, art, etc. In this respect Summa Technologiae is different: it is a summa and a "building", but in the sense of futuristic architecture. It presents daring hypotheses, shows the way, which - according to the author - human technological thought and culture will follow in the future.

  • Dialogs

    Dialogs

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    “Dialogs” come from times when cybernetics seemed to offer infinite possibilities.  This optimism, although moderated by the author, manifests itself in first chapters.  Later, Lem argues with himself presenting his thoughts in a constant movement.  The most interesting are analyses of society and its institutions - Lem is predominantly interested in human thought that could make the world livable. "Dialogs" were not entirely translated to English.

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  • My View on Literature

    My View on Literature

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    my view on literature by stanislaw lem„My View on Literature” contains primarily Lem's personal discourse of literature – perceived on the one hand from the point of view of mercilessly criticized theories of interpretation, on the other from the reader's point of view.  Here, Lem presents himself as a great reader:  aware of all tricks of the literary trade, but above all personally involved, disclosing his individual tastes, passionately describing the intriguing adventure of solving  mysteries of texts and their creators.

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  • Philosophy of Chance

    Philosophy of Chance

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    „Philosophy of Chance” opens with a reflection on the theory of literature;  Lem seems angry at learned professors and eventually tries to create an adequate concept of literary work that would herald new trends in literary criticism.  However – as frequently with Lem's essays – his argument grows and becomes „a theory of everything”, turning to the apology of chance as a universal factor that helps understand mechanisms of all sorts of evolutions;  it determines us, the universe, the world of living creatures and culture  in which we grow. 

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  • Science Fiction and Futurology

    Science Fiction and Futurology

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    An extensive essay on science fiction and futurology is at the same time: an original and innovative attempt at creating a theory of the genre; a witty self-interpretation of Lem's works; an overview of world output of science fiction in search of authors and works that could enter the lists against scientific futurology and prove the value of literature in modeling the future of man.  Yet another „theory of everything” by Lem – of everything that deals with science fiction and its role in human comprehension of the world.

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  • Summa Technologiae

    Summa Technologie

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    image„Summa Technologie” is a „mother-essay” from which most of Lem's later essayistic books stem.    It was written in times when most of the discussed issues – today sometimes quite obvious ones – belonged to the world of fantasy.  The ambition behind this project still amazes, especially if we take into consideration that Lem tried to set up a secular edifice of knowledge, competing in its universalism with Saint Thomas Aquinas and his Summa Theologica.

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