LEM XXI

Leading Editor:
Agata Rosochacka
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Section: LEM XXI

Abstract:

In the 21st century, researchers take on a difficult task of forecasting and controlling the development of technology. Futurology is starting to play an important role. Stanisław Lem created a series of visions of the future, which include not only the sci-fi works that everyone knows, e.g. Eden or The Invincible as well as philosophical works: Summa Technologiae or Biology’s Development Over the Years Leading Up to 2040: A Forecast. His “metafuturological” work allows a new perspective of the reflection over the latest futurological research (Ray Kurzwell or Nick Bostrom).

Section: LEM XXI

Abstract:

In the proposed interpretation, Lem’s The Mask is a story of a pursuit of a coherent identity. On one hand, this aspiration is realised through attempts to isolate the “proper” body of the Mask from the prosthetic, one’s “own” history from prosthetic memories, individual identity from its supplementary prosthetics, external names, finding relevance based on free will, getting free of influences. On the other hand – through attempts to create identity in a constructive gesture of storytelling, giving oneself a shape, definition in self-narrative. These parallel aspirations are not fulfilled, both one and the other fail – the narrator fails to gain a whole, integral form. Instead, the final scene of The Mask offers the discovery of a pleasurable but also soothing prosthetic identity and the narrator’s consent to complete the tale, to be fitted within its frame.

Section: LEM XXI

Abstract:

People operating in the area of different currents of transhumanism present an optimistic vision of the development of our species, which, influenced by technology will transform into the civilisation of “posthumans”. Surely, more pessimistic forecasts, presented, for instance, by sci-fi authors, deserve attention. In his works, Stanisław Lem presented many interesting anti-utopian programmes which refer to various paths of mankind’s development. Therefore, the vision included in The Futurological Congress should be confronted with the fundamental postulates of one of the transhumanism’s currents – extropians.

Dział: LEM XXI

Abstrakt:

In the paper the author interprets a number of Stanisław Lem’s works, trying to liberate himself from humanistic trails and head towards posthumanistic reading. The problem of rationality present in many Lem’s texts is a good demonstration of this possibility. In Golem XIV, Observation on the Spot, Solaris, Lem argues, in various manners, with the anthropocentric vision of the mind, arguing that it is too narrow, limiting and intellectually confusing. This makes man face a challenge of giving up man’s universalistic claims, but also of reflecting on man’s place in reality.

Section: LEM XXI

Abstract:

Based on the Deleuzean and Simondonian interpretation of Lem’s Solaris as the issue of contact with what goes beyond the anthropocentric finiteness, the article formulates a category of “solarism”, useful in diagnosing the problems of contemporary philosophy and allowing to capture specific configurations of selected phenomena of culture and art. The article makes a preliminary recognition of the capital-centric contemporaneity and then follows Lem’s reception in the science of media and culture. These deliberations become a context for the analysis of Solaris, which leads to capturing material traits of solarism, understood as a-humanism and inhumanism. In turn, this specific understanding of logic behind Solaris sets the direction for the analysis of the phenomena of contemporary cinema, using David Lynch’s Twin Peaks The Return and Alex Garland’s Annihilation as an example.

Section: LEM XXI

Abstract:

The objective of this article is to interpret the early novel by Stanisław Lem, Eden, in the context of the development of new media and advanced mass communication techniques. How are Lem’s conclusions, made over a half century ago, reflected in the media reality of the 21st century? Have Lem’s predictions regarding the evolution of information society proven true? Are the media a relevant reference point in the Solaris author’s prose? The answers to these questions are in some sense provided by the discussion of the novel Eden, in which people try to make contact with the inhabitants or an unknown planet – neither science, nor the achievements of modern technology are useful in this, somewhat difficult, task.

Section: LEM XXI

Abstract:

In my deliberations, I focus on analysing the purposefulness of an automatic allocation of Stanisław Lem’s works to he genre of science fiction. Upon a closer look on the characteristic forewords to his three novels, the Solaris author’s prose may be included in the current of realistic literature. What is no less important is the issue of modulating social imagination through the novels of the 1960s, and in consequence, how the universe, technological progress of futurology are perceived.