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By Peter Swirski

A sequence of interviews and important dialogues with the overdue Stanislaw Lem whose writings were translated into over forty languages and feature bought over 35 million copies. when you basically understand him as a novelist, A Stanislaw Lem Reader is a wonderful advent to Lem's philosophy, clinical hypothesis, literary feedback, and social idea, whereas closing completely obtainable to readers strange with any of his works.

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Swirski: Given all this past industry, it is all the more surprising that nobody has tried to utilize the enormous powers of the solaristic ocean. Lem: What you are saying is very much to the point. The Earth is twelve thousand kilometers in diameter. Take a very big apple of a diameter of twelve centimeters, which will make it the equivalent of a scale of 1:10,000,000. The Earth's crust, that is, its lithosphere -- the hard shell on which we live -- is more or less equivalent in thickness to the skin on the apple; all the rest is the other "spheres," buried underneath.

As the critics began to mention in the later stages of the downfall of communism in Poland, the central theme of the novel is the very issue you have brought up: the layering of illusion and deception, the falsehood of reality that paints the depicted civilization as magnificent, whereas, in reality, it is nothing short of horrid. On this interpretation, my novel is about a game devised by the Orwellian Polish government, which tried to persuade us that, while we lived in affluence and happiness, the West wallowed in penury.

In a sense, in the face of these different schools and systems, I am a kind of wide-ranging heretic. I do not write in order to popularize certain philosophical concepts, simply because I do not think about them at all when I write. Everyone knows that, for all their phenomenal processing power, computers do not understand anything, whereas even a small child understands very well the meaning of a sneeze, because the book the child just lifted from the shelf was covered with dust. This kind of knowledge is available to children almost prelinguistically, being further developed as a result of relevant experience.

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