Stanislaw Lem: Philosopher of the Future
COGITO ERGO LEM A Hard Nut to Crack—Pas de Deux—The Blink of the Cosmic Eye PART I: BIOGRAPHY CHAPTER 1. LIFE AND TIMES A Master of Thrills and Chills—The Reading of This Book Is Good for You—Renaissance Polymath—Lemberg—Highcastle—Well Over 180—Operation Barbarossa—Jan Donabidowicz—Lvov to Cracow—Social Parasite—The Genre In Which I Write—Borges for the Space Age—A Writing Consortium—Wissenschaftskolleg—Away From the Typewriter—On the Sidelines—Encyclopedic Oracle CHAPTER 2. IN THE KALEIDOSCOPE OF BOOKS Ariadne’s Thread—The New World of Adventure—The Other Inner Planet—Different Face—Allegorical Pen—SimCity—Hylas and Philonous—The Tricky Relation—The Golden Phase—A Happy Ending—Ammer-Ka—Out Yonder In Space—Dicty—The Seat of His Pants—Of Extraterrestrial Origin—A Critical Point—Cat’s Cradle— Hypertrophic Trends—Hoary Fallacy—Homo Rationis Capax—Der Völkermord—The Thanatos Syndrome—After the Last Goosebump Has Vanished—The Entire Human Race—Trompe l’Oeil—LEM!—My Farewell—Moratorium—The World According to Lem—Man and Machine PART II: ESSAYS CHAPTER 3. GAME, SET, LEM Ariadne’s Thread—Cold War Hysteria—The Third Pentagon—Nuclear-age Quixote—The Lottery in Babylon—I-Guess-What-You-Guess-What-I-Guess—Barnaby the Scrivener—Whoops! Apocalypse!—The Mission—Minimax/Maximin—The Mission Game—Subjective Rationality—The Collusion Game—Dead Men Don’t Tell Lies—An Allegorical Everyman—The Decipherment of Linear B CHAPTER 4. BETRIZATION IS THE WORST SOLUTION… EXCEPT FOR ALL OTHERS Time Machine—Word Become Flesh—Defanging the Human Beast—La bête humaine—The Hobbesian Premise—It Can’t Happen Here—50-50—Bennett, Trimaldi and Zakharov—The Technological Grail—Less Than Human—Chihuahuas in Eden—Nietzschean Superman—Droids, Borgs, and Bots—One for the Old Generation, One for the New—D-i-s-a-s-t-e-r CHAPTER 5. ERRARE HUMANUM EST The Invincible Has Landed—Models of Inquiry—From Literature to Biterature—The Alien as Alien—Knowledge and Metaknowledge—Regis III—Part of the Landscape—Nature Plays Fair—Ch. I., Ch. Ph., Ch. T., Ch. B.—Omnia Vincit Armor—Dictyostelium discoideum—Overzealous Carpenters—The Infallible CHAPTER 6. A BEACHBOOK FOR INTELLECTUALS A Novel of Ideas—Gun for Hire—Whodunit with Probability as the Butler—The Devil’s Parody of the Movies—The Locked Room—Terrorism Is Not a Hardware Issue—Good Cop, Bad Cop—The Garden of Earthly Delights—You, Me, Pulsars, and the Page You’re Reading—Ladykillers—Hero or Not?—Runny Nose—A Writer for All Reasons PART III: CODA CHAPTER 7. FIASCO You’ll See the Quintans—The War of the Worlds—Intelligent and Electronic—Let’s Do It Our Way—Mark Tempe—The Digla—Crystal Ball—To Make a Long Story Short CHAPTER 8. HAPPY END OF THE WORLD! The Blink of an Eye—Glow-In-the-Dark Monkeys—Cerebroproteinal Neuroprocessor—Encyclopedia of Ignorance APPENDIX. STANISLAW LEM: BOOKS BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX
An indispensable contribution to Lem studies. No critic is ever likely to do a better job of summarizing Lem’s entire oeuvre and meting out cognitive justice to this philosopher of the future than Swirski.
University of Regina
Peter Swirski's book is impressive: it demonstrates a grasp of a very large body of knowledge--Stanislaw Lem, his work, his life, his ideas about humanity, society, and science. Swirski conveys Lem thoroughly yet in the most entertaining way. This marriage of the heavy and the light, the profound and the playful, is a great achievement and mirrors the Polish master.
Publication: May 26, 2015
Series: Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies