Why You Should Read Solaris by Stanislaw Lem in the New Translation by Bill Johnston
Solaris is a science fiction classic by Polish author Stanislaw Lem, first published in 1961. It tells the story of a human expedition to a mysterious planet covered by a sentient ocean that manifests the crew's subconscious fears and desires. The novel explores themes such as the limits of communication, the nature of consciousness, and the human condition.
However, for many years, English readers only had access to a flawed translation of Solaris, based on a French version that Lem himself criticized as a \"poor translation\". This translation, by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox, was published in 1970 and has been used for several editions and adaptations of the novel, including the films by Andrei Tarkovsky and Steven Soderbergh.
In 2011, a new English translation of Solaris was released by Bill Johnston, a professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University and an award-winning translator of works in Polish. This translation is based on the original Polish text and aims to capture Lem's style, tone, and nuances more faithfully. Johnston also restored some passages that were omitted or altered in the previous translation.
The new translation of Solaris has received praise from critics, fans, and Lem's family. It is available as an audiobook from Audible and as an ebook from various platforms. If you are a fan of science fiction, or if you want to discover one of the most influential and original works of the genre, you should definitely read Solaris by Stanislaw Lem in the new translation by Bill Johnston.
Stanislaw Lem was not only a prolific and versatile writer, but also a visionary thinker and a philosopher of science and culture. His works spanned various genres and forms, from novels and short stories to essays and dialogues. He also wrote about literature, art, technology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and more.
Some of his most famous works include The Cyberiad (Cyberiada), a collection of humorous stories about two robotic constructors who travel across the galaxy; The Futurological Congress (Kongres futurologiczny), a satirical novel about a dystopian world where people are manipulated by psychoactive drugs; The Star Diaries (Dzienniki gwiazdowe), a series of adventures of the space traveler Ijon Tichy; and Tales of Pirx the Pilot (OpowieÅci o pilocie Pirxie), a realistic depiction of the challenges and dangers of space exploration.
Lem also wrote several works of literary criticism and theory, such as Dialogues (Dialogi), a book of imaginary conversations on various topics; The Art of Literature (Sztuka literatury), a collection of essays on literary aesthetics and poetics; and Science Fiction and Futurology (Fantastyka i futurologia), a two-volume study of the history, theory, and criticism of science fiction.
Lem's works have been translated into over 40 languages and have sold over 30 million copies worldwide. He has influenced many writers and filmmakers, such as Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and the Wachowskis. He has also received numerous awards and honors, such as the Kafka Prize, the Grand Prix de LittÃrature PoliciÃre, the State Prize of Poland, and the Medal of Honor for Polish Culture. aa16f39245