poniedziałek, 6 maja 2019

Stanisław Lem!

Today I want to introduce one of best writers of all times. Also one of that used typewriter.

First by some info from wikipedia, If you want to know more please click here.

Stanisław Lem (1921-2006) was a Polish writer of science fiction, philosophy, and satire, and a trained physician. Lem's books have been translated into 41 languages and have sold over 45 million copies. From the 1950s to 2000s, he published many books, both science fiction and philosophical/futurological. He is best known as the author of the 1961 novel Solaris, which has been made into a feature film three times.

Lem's works explore philosophical themes through speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of communication with and understanding of alien intelligence, despair about human limitations, and humanity's place in the universe. They are sometimes presented as fiction, but others are in the form of essays or philosophical books.

Lem is one of the most highly acclaimed science fiction writers, hailed by critics as equal to such classic authors as H. G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon. In 1976, Theodore Sturgeon wrote that Lem was the most widely read science fiction writer in the world.

Lem’s works have been used in education, for example as teaching texts for philosophy students

His works were widely translated abroad, appearing in over 40 languages, though the bulk of them were in Eastern Bloc countries (Poland, Germany, and the Soviet Union). Franz Rottensteiner, Lem's former agent abroad, had this to say about Lem's reception on international markets:

With [number of translations and copies sold], Lem is the most successful author in modern Polish fiction; nevertheless his commercial success in the world is limited, and the bulk of his large editions was due to the special publishing conditions in the Communist countries: Poland, the Soviet Union, and the German Democratic Republic). Only in West Germany was Lem really a critical and a commercial success [... and everywhere ...] in recent years interest in him has waned.

But he is the only writer of European [science fiction, most of whose] books have been translated into English, and [...] kept in print in the USA. Lem's critical success in English is due mostly to the excellent translations of Michael Kandel.

Lem was awarded an honorary membership in the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) in 1973. SFWA Honorary membership is given to people who do not meet the publishing criteria for joining the regular membership, but who would be welcomed as members had their work appeared in the qualifying English-language publications. Lem, however, never had a high opinion of American science fiction, describing it as ill-thought-out, poorly written, and interested more in making money than in ideas or new literary forms. After his eventual American publication, when he became eligible for regular membership, his honorary membership was rescinded, an action that some of the SFWA members apparently intended as a rebuke,] and it seems that Lem interpreted it as such. Lem was invited to stay on with the organization with a regular membership, but declined. After many members (including Ursula K. Le Guin) protested against Lem's treatment by the SFWA, a member offered to pay his dues. Lem never accepted the offer.

In 1980 Lem was one of candidates to the Nobel Prize in Literature. The prize gone to other polish author: Czesław Miłosz.

Off the wikipedia, I’ve digged some more facts, about typewriters of course!

Lem used Underwood, that belonged to his father, and been given to him in age of 12. He written on it till the end (also letters), never switching on to computer. Quite strange for sci-fi writer and futurologist, but when personal computers hit the stage in 90’ (in Poland) - Lem had 75 years. As one of his friends pointed - It’s a pity, if computers showed two decades before, he would write twice as much.

Lem had a strange habit: if he didn’t like what he wrote he simply tossed out the page and started new. In letters he claimed, that when writing Golem XIV room was covered with pages so tight it looked like snow.
Later, when he couldn’t type anymore he dictated the pages to the assistant.

I’m not sure how many typewriters he used, but for sure it was at least two types :) Maybe you can identify the second:

3 komentarze:

  1. Triumph/Adler Gabriele, if I'm reading the name on the paper table right.

  2. Thanks for the introduction. Nice post.

  3. I like Lem's work very much, what I've read of it. His book A Perfect Vacuum inspired me to review smoe nonexistent books on my blog a couple of years ago.