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11

Native speaker here. The most important part that was lost in translation was the rhythm of the prose. Lem's texts at all times have a quality similar to that of a blank verse. Sadly, I think it would require much better writer than Lem to save the meaning and give a similar quality to English translation. Also a number of passage's literal details got lost....


4

Here's the original Polish text of this passage (plus half a sentence as the sentence breaks are different in the translation). I highlighted the sentence that was translated as “A giant Negress was coming silently towards me with a smooth, rolling gait.” Zbliżyłem się do okrągłej komory, z której rozchodziły się korytarze na kształt szprych koła, kiedy ...


2

"You are black? [...] In my country everyone had white skin, so we had to use the shades. My hair were dark so I've been called black" The paraphrased quote above is from "American Gods", but I believe it brings the essence of what people trying to say: in Polish, calling someone "black" might mean something different than in ...


1

Literature, at least in one important sense, is holding up a mirror to human nature. And Stanislaw Lem in Solaris is holding up literally a mirror to European society, just as another Polish writer, Joseph Conrad - a writer Lem both admired and was influenced by - did in Heart of Darkness . But whereas Conrad was tackling European imperialism, Lem was ...


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