Embassy celebrates 100th anniversary of Polish science fiction author Stanislaw Lem
“The importance of his legacy was recognized by the Polish Parliament, which declared 2021 to be the year of Stanislaw Lem,” said Polish Ambassador Janusz Janke in his speech.
The event, which was attended by the director of the fire station Khalifa Ahmad al-Obaidli, members of the Polish community in Doha and other guests, also showed two short films based on Lem’s works: The Room by Krzysztof Jankowski and The Mask by Hanka Brulinska.
The envoy also announced that Lem’s most popular novel, Solaris, has finally been translated into Arabic (by Hatif Janabi) and is expected to be introduced to the Qatari audience at the Doha International Book Fair in January 2022.
Janke noted that Solaris – directed by A. Tarkowski (1972) and S. Soderberg (2000) – “deals with the idea of first contact with an alien being, but also with the fragility of a human mind. The message of the book has fascinated readers all over the world and is still appealing to this day. “
According to the envoy, Lem inspired many artists from all over the world, although his novels and stories were not easy to read, but many found them fascinating.
“The ideas he tried to share with his audience were captured in drawings by Daniel Mroz, whose works can be seen in the exhibition that we arranged for you. In the 1960s and 1970s, Lem achieved the status of an international expert on contemporary civilization, largely due to the surprising accuracy of his long-term predictions of concepts such as artificial intelligence (AI), cyberspace or virtual reality.
“In 1976, Lem was named the most widely read science fiction writer in the world. So far, his works have been translated into 42 languages and sold over 27 million times, ”said Janke.
Lem was born in 1921 in Lemberg, which at that time belonged to the Second Polish Republic. After graduating from high school in 1939, he completed his medical studies until 1941, when the Nazi army took Lviv.
In 1946 the Lem family left Lemberg and settled in Kraków, where he continued his medical studies. After graduation, he began to work at the Jagiellonian University Assistant Scientific Conversation, which gave him access to the latest scientific work in various fields.
Lem’s passion for writing came after the unexpected success of his science fiction novel “Astronauci” (The Astronauts), and several of his subsequent books were brought to screen. The best-known include Przektadaniec (Cake Layer), directed by A. Wajda (1968); and The Congress, directed by A. Folman (2013) – who inspired the next generation of artists. He died in Krakow in 2006.