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Le repaire maudit lordre des tuniques rouges t 2 french edition. Haunted salem oregon haunted america. Such troubles are well known to me. They have caused me, among other things, departures from the usual sorts of plot in favor of highly abbreviated fiction A Perfect Vacuum, Imaginary Magnitude. I also wrote in Herr F. The protagonist was to be humanity, not an individual—that was the problem. In the US there is a periodical published by scientists and intended strictly for the cognoscenti, some specialists.
It abounds with parodies, in-jokes mostly nonsensical , and crazy ideas, entirely inaccessible to outsiders. I wouldn't make literature out of such material, for although I do not especially brood about my intended audience, I do not go around writing for some hundred souls with the requisite knowledge of nucleonics or computer programming.
Such a hermeneutics is not for me. In some cases, it appeared the critics were longing for a return to a causality, while you were exploring undecideable games. In your recent work, however, you seem to be returning to the narrative pattern of your earlier work.
Is this how you conceive The Scene of the Crime and Fiasco? Most likely, this return of mine—which occurred after writing several pamphlets of the fictional review sort, though entirely serious, such as Provocation, "One Human Minute," "The World as Holocaust," "Weapon Systems of the 21st Century" 6 —was caused by the many contemporary global changes: the rising antagonism between East and West, the growing reality of the Star Wars SDI vision, and my personal dilemmas as a Pole.
But who knows what the reasons and motives for this return are; the foregoing is just my hypothesis. ICR: One of the most interesting aspects of your work is the apparent ambivalence you feel about technological evolution. Sometimes you imply that its future is inevitable and autonomous, but at other times you argue explicitly that some social control must be imposed to restore the sense of value.
Simone Well wrote that the peculiarity of 20th-century Western culture is that is it is the first civilization to have lost the consciousness of value. You yourself wrote—in the Summa, in Science Fiction and Futurology, etc. How do you envision the restoration of value and social controls in the era of Star Wars?
Lem: In a non-antagonistic world, the conquest "domestication," neutralization of technological evolution could happen, theoretically. But with the symmetrical lack of trust according to the principle pacta sunt servanda, each side maximizes its efforts to prevent being overtaken by the other. This state of affairs can indeed lead to a technological foxhole. This is the main point of my Fiasco.
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The factor that brings this specter about does not pertain to science itself; it arises courtesy of the global political situation: not just the East-West rivalry, but also the fundamentalism of Islamic extremists. Futurologists, such as those in the Rand Corporation, have in the past umpteen years conjured hundreds upon hundreds of political and economic scenarios of the future paths of the world, but the mad renaissance of Islam's aggressiveness had not been foreseen by them in any of their scenarios!
A situation has arisen necessitating an ambivalent relationship between science and technology, as both jointly bring forth exquisite, mortally dangerous offerings. What I write is but a reflection of this situation. There is no universal cure for this ailment, at least I don't see any.
Aside from the continuing East-West conflict, how can one fail to notice movements like that of Islamic fundamentalism, in the face of which, democracy finds itself a priori at a disadvantage. This disadvantage does not manifest itself only in terrorism; it is brought about by the very existence of an elite of technologically rich nations.
These nations are marvelous suppliers of bombs, arms, electronics, remote-control detonators, passenger airliners for hijacking , and news— this status guarantees that they are susceptible to blackmail, and guarantees that they will never be ready to strike out in a blind massive retaliatory strike. In a word, this Islam which has given global culture so many intellectual treasures is now turning out to be its parasite.
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This situation caused me to write The Scene of the Crime. It is a striking characteristic of your work that you don't depict affectional relationships among your protagonists—at least since Solaris and Return from the Stars. Some theorists have made persuasive arguments that cognition is inextricably tied to certain kinds of affections— and that the Western tradition of purifying the intellect involves a refusal to give value to emotional relationships with the world.
Actually, Solaris might be read as depicting exactly this state of affairs, since the Solarists, as soon as they encounter the alien planet, are suddenly brought face to face with the emotional lives they have repressed.
You seem to have left this theme behind—so much so that your Golem dispassionately dismisses love. Is this lack of amor in your work a conscious strategy? Lem: Love is a matter of individuals. It is the fulfillment of the human psyche's expectations. An individual is able to feel love towards only a small number of the closest persons, be it erotic love, parental, or other—for example, religiously inspired. In my private life, this emotion plays perhaps the main role.
But one cannot really love humanity. It is impossible even to get to know all coexisting persons. So put, "love of humanity" is a pure abstraction, entirely impotent in the face of the world's dramatic problems. This is why making love the subject of a book is tantamount to closing one's eyes to the problems of the world, and because of this alone, it would hinge on being escapist. Of course, these are strictly my private convictions. I do not believe that love can save nations or entire societies. This may be why love has taken the backseat in my writing. ICR: In some ways, you are one of the most modern writers.
Your fiction is usually based on the contemporary scientific problems and paradigms. But in other ways, you seem to have more affinities with 19th-century writers, what with your citations from Swinburne, your invocations of Schopenhauer, your Nietzschean problems. Do you find you admire 19th-century fiction more than 20th-century fiction?
Lem: The literature of the 20th century has lost its battle, or at least finds itself in retreat. I can see more and more books in bookstores, yet fewer and fewer ones that I would like to read. The tales of refugees from totalitarian countries reduce themselves to an exhaustive catalogue of social and psychological suffering that such systems treat their citizens to.
These books cannot pick their readers up, and the lessons they teach are not pleasant. One could say that the job of literature is not primarily to entertain, move, and cheer us up, but as Conrad said, to "bring the visible world to justice. That, however, is now impossible, at least for any narrative convention involving plot, the sort that was crafted into perfection by l9th-century prose. A fine exemplar, if not pinnacle, of this sort of prose is Tolstoy's War and Peace, for it contains both a sweeping historical view and a focus on individual people and groups.
Since I consider this epic approach no longer feasible today, if only because a microcosm of a few individuals does nothing to reflect the larger macrocosm of our planet, I aim instead to create models of the major problems that lie ahead of us, problems that humanity will have to face right now and in the coming decades. Perhaps the retreat from the epic form was unavoidable, but it need not have meant sliding into escapism.
I don't believe that literature should not entertain and humor us, but the goal which it must never surrender is that of being a medium for the intellectual, the philosophical, and the reflective about the human condition. This is why I hold in contempt the nouveau roman and other assorted exercises of the avant garde, including whatever tortures human speech is subjected to by the lot of current experimenters. The writing of little poems for beautifully decorated fat monthlies like The Missouri Review, where they appear on glossy paper, is infantile. At any rate, we happen to live in decadent, declining times, a fact that can be readily seen in contemporary music and art.
It is impossible to envision either one in the 21st century, because "everything has been tried already. Quite a lot of these questions, like many of the ones I have been receiving for the past 30 years, are based on a tacit assumption that my knowledge and understanding of my texts' problematic, or how they come to be, or where they belong in the scheme of things, is better than the corresponding notions of my interlocutors; in fact, that it is definitive.
In reality, while I do have some knowledge, it is not the sort of knowledge that a press correspondent possesses when relating the course of a game, but rather the knowledge of an observer at a printer, who sees the newspapers as they are being printed up. My answers may lead to entirely false conclusions: say, that before writing anything I spent time considering its problematic—say, that before writing Solaris, I intended to write about the futile attempts of human contact with an alien phenomenon, attempts that end in a spectacular crash of anthropocentrism after the depiction of many adventures and sufferings of the protagonists.
Such was not the case: I didn't know anything at first, not even that I would put some eerie ocean on that planet. When I write, the process of writing has nothing in common with building a house, a bottom-up activity based on a top-down design involving architects, investors, builders, and workers. Both the structure of the plot and the adventures of the characters come into being as I write. The initial state of the book is but a nebulous, extremely loose bunch of ideas. The final state—after the writing is done—is still a nebulous, rather loose bunch of ideas, albeit markedly less nebulous and less loose.
Nevertheless, this uncertainty never totally shrinks away. For example, even then, I have no clue as to the worth of the new work. I do not know how it will be read and understood by its various readers, whether they will be bored or thrilled. Usually, all my books are first read by my wife, and very often I have gone along with her highly critical remarks.
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It has also often happened that I would not agree with her: for example, when she considered my descriptions of the library in Solaris as spurious. In other works, occasionally I had an inner certitude that the text had to remain in its initial form. I cannot explain that feeling and whence it comes.
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What may be even more surprising if not downright paradoxical sounding , this was the way in which I wrote my discursive prose as well: no projects, no blueprints. If a priori plans were needed, it often turned out they weren't kept. It was as though I was carried away by the current of my thought as I was writing the text—the sort of thing that happens to white water rafters: keeping the course and not really managing to do so.
Basically, I wrote by trial and error, and since I never cross out anything, instead throwing away in its entirety what does not please me, I see myself as a high-jumper, making attempts at a height, one after another, each a contained procedure, including the initial run. It is impossible to pause in the air over the crossbar in order to make an adjustment.
Then I have to make over entire chapters, or more. Often, when I am having trouble striking the right tone or keeping the style I want, I start "randomly," aware that in the final tally I can get rid of the beginning altogether or replace it with some other. I did that with The Scene of the Crime, where the first chapter had over ten variants.