15 votes

Understanding the use of the word "Negress" in the Kilmartin and Cox translation of Solaris

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 ...
kubanczyk's user avatar
  • 251
14 votes

Mathematics or gibberish? Understanding a description of an alien message in His Master's Voice

I'm a mathematician, and to me the style of narration in this passage sounds very familiar. Because of the extreme abstraction from reality of most of (pure) mathematics, we who study it often dread ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.3k
10 votes
Accepted

Does V reference Stanislaw Lem's "His Master's Voice", and if so, why?

No, it has nothing to do with Lem's novel. It's a play on the famous trademark originated by the Gramophone Company (and later used by EMI) in the UK and used by Victor (and later RCA) in the USA. ...
Kevin Troy's user avatar
  • 2,040
9 votes
Accepted

What did Lem find in his game-theoretical analysis of the writings of Marquis de Sade?

To say that Lem applied game theory to the writings of the Marquis de Sade is a little bit of an overstatement. In the essay Markiz w grafie (“The Marquis in the Network”) he first argues how game ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Did Captain Pirx make a joke in base 13?

Yes… I don't get it. It occurs in Pirx pilóta kalandjai (orig title. Opowieści o pilocie Pirxie; in Stanisław Lem teljes science-fiction univerzuma vol. 2, (2006) Szukits könyvkiadó, translator ...
b_jonas's user avatar
  • 1,770
4 votes

Understanding the use of the word "Negress" in the Kilmartin and Cox translation of Solaris

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 ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Is there a translation or summary of Lem's short story "Crystal Ball"?

In a comment, Andra directed me to a Russian translation of The Crystal Ball. Somewhat surprisingly it seems that this is the only translation that has been made. Although my Russian is slight I was ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
3 votes

What did Lem find in his game-theoretical analysis of the writings of Marquis de Sade?

In lieu of an actual translation of the essay "Markiz w grafie" (which is available online for anyone who reads Polish), we have some description from Lem himself of the game-theoretic ideas ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.3k
3 votes

What aspects of Roman Ingarden's theory of literature does Stanisław Lem criticise and how?

Stanisław Lem criticizes Roman Ingarden's theory of literature in his essay The Philosophy of Chance. Specifically, he takes issue with the idea that a literary work can be reduced to its ontological ...
Adzetto's user avatar
  • 320
2 votes

A short story about artificial intelligence written by an author from Russia or Poland?

You might be thinking of Golem XIV by Stanislaw Lem, which is structured around a philosophical lecture by the eponymous superintelligent AI. Golem XIV, has developed consciousness, lost interest in ...
calmcc's user avatar
  • 313
2 votes

Understanding the use of the word "Negress" in the Kilmartin and Cox translation of Solaris

"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 ...
Yasskier's user avatar
  • 2,070

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