Stanislaw Lem

Stanislaw Lem


Stanislaw Lem was born on Sep 12, 1921 in Ukraine]. Stanislaw Lem's big-screen debut came with First Spaceship on Venus directed by Kurt Maetzig in 1960. Stanislaw Lem is known for Maska directed by Stephen Quay, Magdalena Cielecka stars as and as . The upcoming new movie Stanislaw Lem plays is Powrót z gwiazd (Audioplay) which will be released on Sep 10, 2021.

Stanislaw Lem was a visionary Polish author known for Solaris (1972).He was born on September 12, 1921, in Lwów, Poland. His father, Samuel Lem, was a wealthy laryngologist who served in the Austrian army. His mother, Sabina Woller, was a homemaker. Although he was born into a Polish-Jewish family, Lem was raised a Catholic and later became an atheist. He graduated from the Lwów Gymnazium in 1939, then studied medicine at the Lvov Medical Institute in 1940-1941. During WWII, he survived the Nazi occupation of Lwów and worked as a mechanic and welder for a German firm until 1944.After World War II Lem escaped from the Soviet occupation of Germany and moved to Krakow, Poland, as a repatriate. There he completed his medical studies at Jagellonian University, without taking the doctor's degree. He worked at the Konserwatorium Naukoznawcze as a research assistant for psychologist Dr. Choynowski. From 1946-1949 Lem was involved in medical research in psychology, which became a turning point in his life. He started writing poetry and science fiction in 1946, but his first serious novel, "Hospital of the Transfiguration", was suppressed by the Polish government for eight years. It was released only in 1956, when freedom of speech was earned after the "Polish October" popular uprising.Lem quit medicine in 1949, because he did not want to be drafted into the army. He married a doctor instead of being one. In 1949 he became a professional writer and continued creating his increasingly unusual novels: "The Investigation", "Eden", "Return from the Stars". The 1960s and 1970s were the most productive for Lem. At that time he wrote 'Solaris', 'The Invincible', 'The Cyberiad', 'His Master's Voice', 'The Star Diaries', 'The Futurological Congress', and 'Tales of Pirx the Pilot'. His gift of a visionary materialized in 'Summa Technologiae' (Sum of Technologies, 1964), which tackled problems of virtual reality. Lem showed his talent for premonition in "Katar" (1975), which predicted international terrorism, and in "Observations on the Spot"' (1982), which showed absurdity of a conflict between two civilizations.His novel 'Solaris' was adapted into eponymous films twice. First came the Russian-made film adaptation by director Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972, starring Donatas Banionis and Natalya Bondarchuk. Lem spent six months working with Tarkovsky in Moscow, but their collaboration ended in a bitter conflict over the changes and additions to the original story. After seeing edited parts of the 1972 film, Lem said of Tarkovsky: "Instead of focusing on deeper moral questions related to frontiers of human knowledge, he made a drama-type 'Crime and Punishment' in space, by making up unnecessary characters of parents and relatives, then adding a hut on an island." "Tarkovsky was a genius, but he was moving in the opposite direction from my book", also said Lem. Upon his doctor's advice Lem did not want to see the 2002 remake by director Steven Soderbergh, starring George Clooney and Natascha McElhone."Solaris" (1961) is arguably the best known work of Lem's works. It deals with the problem of human existence in the world of the unknown. It also shows the inevitability of misunderstandings in human contacts with other worlds. Planet Solaris is inhabited by a single Plasma Ocean organism with the eerie ability to materialize human thoughts. When astronauts become more aggressive in forcing contact with Solaris, it confronts them with pushing the buttons of their most painful thoughts by recreating their dead wives and relatives, and virtually bringing the dead back to life in front of their eyes. Obsolete biological human impulses are shown in stark contrast with the magnitude of the ocean-size organism. At some point humans become an irrational liability to their machine partner, the spaceship. Lem's imagination and talent for creation of alternative reality challenges the limits of human knowledge."Past is more perfect than future, which makes me sad," said Lem. Although some of his predictions came true, he expressed his disappointment about the failure of many positive prognosis that were made during the 1960s and 1970s. He died on March 27, 2006, in Kraków, and was laid to rest in the Salwatorski cemetery in Kraków, Poland. His books sold over 27 million copies in 41 languages.

  • Birthday

    Sep 12, 1921
  • Place of Birth

    Lwów, Lwowskie, Poland [now Lviv, Ukraine]