Stanislaw Lem in the Eyes of the World

Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies, 49


November 20th, 2014



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Lemography is a unique collection of critical essays on Stanislaw Lem, writer and philosopher. Its aim is to introduce aspects of his work hitherto unknown or neglected by scholarship and evaluate his influence on twentieth-century literature and culture—and beyond. The book’s uniqueness is enhanced by the global makeup of the contributors who hail from Canada, United States, Great Britain, Germany, Croatia, Poland, Sweden and Finland. In all cases, these are scholars and translators who for many years have pursued, and in some cases defined, Lem scholarship. Rather than study Lem as a science fiction writer, each essay commands a wider sphere of reference in order to appraise Lem’s literary and philosophical contributions. Each focuses on a different novel (or set of novels) from the writer’s opus, examining them critically. Between them, the essays cover virtually all phases of Lem’s multidimensional career, ensuring comprehensive coverage.

Lemography marks several firsts, among them: the first translations and discussions of Lem’s first three novels; the first time discussions of an unknown story from the middle of his career; and first time sustained discussion of a work that Lem regarded as his best.

Contributors: Peter Swirski is Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Honorary Professor in American Studies in China. Waclaw M. Osadnik is Professor of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. David Seed holds a chair in American Literature at Liverpool University. Nicholas Ruddick is Professor and Head of English at the University of Regina, where he has taught since 1982. Bo Pettersson is Professor of the Literature of the United States and former Head of English at the Department of Modern Languages, University of Helsinki. Iris Vidmar is a philosopher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Rijeka, Croatia, where she teaches Modern Philosophy, Epistemology, Philosophy of Art, and Philosophy of Literature. Victor Yaznevich is a PhD in technical sciences (Moscow, 1993) with specialization in computers and information, is one of the prominent Russian-language translators and bibliographers of Lem. Kenneth Krabbenhoft has been Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University until his retirement in 2013. .


'As Lem scholarship grows in size, readers will find plenty of well-articulated thought in these works to ponder upon.'
Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction

'Read Lem. And read Swirski. Or the other way around. Whichever way you do it, just do it.'
The Montreal Review

'Lemography and Swirski’s Philosopher of the Future are multi-faceted and original contributions.'
Science Fiction Studies

‘All in all, this is an excellent edited collection that deepens our understanding of Lem’s work and legacy, and it will hopefully spur further research into Lem’s oeuvre.’
Michael Godhe, Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research


Author Information

Peter Swirski is Professor of American Literature and American Studies at the University of Bahrain and Honorary Professor in China. Waclaw M. Osadnik is Professor of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Lem Redux: From Poland to the World - WACLAW M. OSADNIK and PETER SWIRSKI
The Unknown Lem: Man From Mars, The Astronauts, The Magellan Nebula - PETER SWIRSKI
Investigating the Investigation: Mystery Narratives in The Investigation and The Chain of Chance - DAVID SEED
Embodiment Problems: Adapting Solaris to Film - NICHOLAS RUDDICK
The Hilarious and Serious Teachings of Lem’s Robot Fables: The Cyberiad - BO PETTERSSON
Literature, Futurology, or Philosophy? The Futurological Congress - IRIS VIDMAR and PETER SWIRSKI
Problems and Dilemmas:Lem’s Golem XIV - VICTOR YAZNEVICH
Lem, Cervantes, and Metafiction: Peace on Earth and Fiasco - KENNETH KRABBENHOFT
Notes on Contributors