Read Solaris by Stanisław Lem Eva Bolzoni Online


Da anni una stazione spaziale ruota intorno al pianeta Solaris, che non si sa nemmeno di cosa sia fatto. Può un oceano di plasma essere l'ambiente nel quale vive un'intelligenza superiore a quella dell'uomo? E possibile una comunicazione mentale fra il pianeta senziente e noi? Se lo domandano, angosciati o addirittura terrorizzati, i componenti della missione che deve chiaDa anni una stazione spaziale ruota intorno al pianeta Solaris, che non si sa nemmeno di cosa sia fatto. Può un oceano di plasma essere l'ambiente nel quale vive un'intelligenza superiore a quella dell'uomo? E possibile una comunicazione mentale fra il pianeta senziente e noi? Se lo domandano, angosciati o addirittura terrorizzati, i componenti della missione che deve chiarire l'enigma Solaris: le loro vite private sono sconvolte, apparizioni misteriose si materializzano nella stazione, i morti tornano a ossessionare i vivi. Da questo magistrale romanzo il regista sovietico Andrei Tarkovsky ha tratto un grande film, che qualcuno ha definito ‘la risposta a 2001". Copertina di Oscar Chichoni...

Title : Solaris
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 15822174
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 220 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Solaris Reviews

  • Nataliya
    2019-02-12 22:54

    Many sci-fi authors think that they write about aliens. The truth is, they really don't. Instead, they essentially write about humans. Most sci-fi aliens are little more than an allegory for humanity, a mirror through which we can see ourselves - maybe slightly different-looking, with more (or fewer) appendages, different senses, funny names, different social structures - but still unmistakably human. And so, when we think of aliens as shown in popular literature/ cinematography, 99% of us will imagine these ...... .............. ... rather than this...Whichever way the sci-fi aliens are described, there is always something about them that we can relate to. Basically, it serves the age-old purpose of self-insertion of a reader into a book. (*) * This is the same excuse that Hollywood gives any time it wants to show us a society different from ours and inevitably sticks a "relatable" protagonist there - usually a macho white guy.That's when Lem strikes with his unusual and brainy unconventional sci-fi story. He takes the long-standing dream of establishing contact with aliens and turns the concept completely around. His planet-sized (possibly) living ocean is so ... well... alien that there is no way humans can comprehend or relate to its vast alienness. Even worse, the ocean does not seem interested. See, one of the worst things you can do to people is not care, ignore them. As a species, we crave attention and recognition. But, unlike the aliens of our space dreams that may love us or hate us or despise us, the Ocean of Solaris does not seem to particularly care. Which sends humans into a frenzy leading to volumes of scientific research. Does it not understand us? Does it not care? is it primitive? Is it unbelievably advanced? What's the deal? Are we nothing but annoyance to it, ants crawling on its surface? Is it even alive? As a matter of fact, what is "alive"?What I think is fascinating about this story is that we never get answers. The ocean remains there, vast and alien, with its secrets unrevealed. All we have is speculation and childlike wonder. And failure to comprehend why it seems to torture humans that study it, sending them living ghosts from their past - in case of psychologist Kris Kelvin, his long-dead wife Harey Rheya (not sure why the name was changed in the translation). Why? We don't know. The beauty and the power of this book is that we will never know. Some things are just not for us to understand. What makes us human is that we will keep trying.The movies based on this book - a beautiful Tarkovsky version and that other one with George Clooney - seemed to focus more on the human characters, which is natural. But to me this will always remain an brilliant, albeit a little dry story of a mysterious and alien ocean which may or may not be alive and may or may not even care.

  • Kay
    2019-02-02 22:45

    11/11/11 Update: Reflected on it a bit more, and bumped up the rating to 5 stars. Darn those coercive, psychic ocean mind waves!**Despite work, an appalling lack of sleep, work, life, work, copious amounts of laundry, work, and MORE WORK, I finally finished this little gem of a book. I am giving it four stars for now, but depending on how I feel after I absorb more of the book, I may bump up the rating. Solaris is beautifully written, and the message behind the book is chilling if not eye-opening. In most sci-fi, humans interact with non-humans violently, peacefully, symbiotically, or however else we communicate with them (the key words being interact and communicate). However, Lem pushes us to think waaaay outside our comfortable, boxy way of thinking and makes us wonder--what if there were beings so inherently different from us that we couldn't even begin to understand them? Do we even fully understand ourselves enough to communicate clearly with them?The planet Solaris is inhabited by one living organism--a vast "ocean" that covers the entire planet. Solarists, academics who study Solaris, attribute nomenclatures to various phenomena that occur in the organism. The book is chock full of academic arguments about the psychology and behavior of the organism. We quickly grasp, however, that despite the theorizing and debating, they know close to nothing about the ocean, whereas the ocean much more. Without spoiling the book, a psychologist named Kris Kelvin arrives in a space station above the ocean to study the organism. However, after a series of x-ray bombardments on the ocean's surface, the ocean reacts by somehow creating physical manifestations of the space station inhabitants' repressed anguish and regrets. In Kris's case, the ocean creates a striking likeness of his dead wife, whose memories has haunted him even before his arrival. The exchanges between Kris and his wife were shocking, tragic, and quite eerie, especially since she (1) cannot die, (2) physically cannot be out of his presence, and (3) she's creation of the ocean, for heaven's sake! As Kris’s and his wife’s relationship progresses, what becomes more and more evident is how little we know in comparison to how much we think we know. Though the book spans a little over 200 pages, Lem tells a great story and presents interesting ideas. The writing is stodgy at times; Lem’s style reminded me of academic papers written decades ago by professors locked for far too long in their ivory towers. The story behind the writing, however, hooked, lined, and sinker-ed me. What were very dense passages, I blew right through with the concentrated focus that I should have employed more often during school. (Even though sci-fi, for the most part, is so much more fun than political theories.)4.5 (and most probably 5) stars. Highly recommended.

  • Manny
    2019-02-03 17:28

    I'm afraid I'm a philistine. I liked the Soderberg remake of the movie most, then the book, and last the original Tarkovsky movie. If you're cultured and sophisticated, I think that you're supposed to have the exact opposite ordering. Oh well.In my defense, I recall that, when I watched the Tarkovsky version, I looked around at one point and discovered that the people on both sides of me had fallen asleep. As far as I can remember, this is the only time I've ever see it happen.

  • William1
    2019-02-01 16:36

    This is the classic gothic horror haunted house story revisited with an SF twist. It's a testament to the obtuseness of mankind, particularly unemotional, Cold-War era, scientific man. Three scientists on the remote planet Solaris seek contact with the lone enormous creature occupying it -- the ocean. All sorts of experiments are tried over a century or more, but the planet and the humans never achieve, at least to the humans' satisfaction, adequate evidence of a measurable intellectual exchange. The ocean busies itself morphing into these massive shapes -- geometic, organic, and otherwise -- which strike the reader as expressive, but which are nevertheless inarticulate in human terms. When the scientists start bombarding the ocean with xrays, for lack of a better idea, the planet sends to each of them a visitor from an emotionally charged period of their own lives. The simulacra are derived from their memories and dreams. Kris Kelvin has just arrived on the planet. In his case, the simulacrum assumes the identical physical appearance and personality of his late wife, Rheya, who took her own life years before. The simulacra obviously constitute contact of a very high order, an enormously rich opportunity, it seems to me, to communicate one on one with the entity. But the horrified scientists never see that. They never talk to their visitors. They never come clean. Their fear drives them, purely fear, so all they can think of is a way to destroy the visitors. Therefore, they miss their chance. How sick and sad is that? This reader came to understand what was necessary after about page 100 or so. Yet the book drones on for another hundred pages. The novel is imaginative, certainly, but it runs out of ideas far too soon. The scientists never get it. One grows disgusted with them. The book never seems to end.

  • 7jane
    2019-01-20 23:36

    (I will review this properly after re-read, but I can say that this book was fantastic; I've seen the newer movie - which was good - and will watch the older at some point. Not action-packed, but more pondering kind of a book.)

  • [P]
    2019-02-09 20:46

    When I was a kid my dad was obsessed with the idea of UFO’s and alien contact. He made me and my brother watch endless episodes of trashy American documentaries about sightings and abductions. In fact, I sat through so many of these that I started to have nightmares about bug-eyed extra terrestrial beings entering my room at night. I guess that for my dad – who did not have a partner, whose children were emotionally, if not physically, estranged from him, and whose job was not exactly stimulating – the promise of other planets and other species, of being whisked away from his humdrum life, must have been pretty appealing. While I too wanted to somehow escape the situation I found myself in, the prospect of other worlds or beings never fired my imagination. I found it difficult enough to get my head around the behaviour and motivations of humans, I had enough problems understanding my own world, that the possibility of engaging meaningfully with aliens struck me as, to all intents and purposes, impossible.For this same reason, I have never been particularly drawn to Sci-Fi. The writers and books I most enjoy are ones that I believe contain insights about human nature, that help me come to terms with who I am and how my world works. This is, I guess, where Stanislaw Lem comes in. First of all, Lem himself was not particularly enamoured of the genre, he thought the majority of it too reliant upon the adventure story formula. My introduction to the Pole’s work was His Master’s Voice, and, on the basis of that novel, I could see why he considered himself as a kind of outlier in the Science Fiction community. The plot is almost non-existent, and entirely plausible; there are no weird creatures, no space travel. More than anything, His Master’s Voice is a speculative, philosophical novel of ideas that says more about us than it does about what is potentially out there. And so is this one.Having said that, Solaris provides more conventional, less cerebral enjoyment than His Master’s Voice, and is therefore more approachable. Lem may have been critical of Science Fiction’s use of the adventure story formula, but the dynamics of Solaris’ plot are borrowed from the equally formulaic horror/thriller genre. Doctor Kris Kelvin arrives on the space station that has been studying the planet Solaris, and which is meant to be manned by three other people. However, Kelvin finds that one of them is blind drunk and clearly spooked, one has locked himself in his laboratory, and the other is dead. Of course, he is suspicious and senses that something is wrong. Not only is Snow visibly shaken, but he has blood on his hands; alarming noises are coming from Sartorius’ lab; and Kelvin himself feels as though he is being watched. As the narrative progresses things get even stranger: there are, it is revealed, other people on board and it is not clear how they got there or whether they are friendly.“Successive bursts of static came through the headphones, against a background of deep, low-pitched murmuring, which seemed to me the very voice of the planet itself.”While all this is lots of fun, and genuinely tense and unnerving at times, especially if you haven’t seen either of the two film adaptations, if it was all Solaris had to offer it’s unlikely that I would rate the book so highly. In order to begin to explain why I do I would, first of all, point to a quote from the text, which is ‘“How do you expect to communicate with the ocean, when you can’t even understand one another?” This, for me, sums up the philosophical, emotional heart of the novel. The ‘ocean’ is the alien life-form [if it is indeed alive; it certainly displays behaviour consistent with ‘being alive’ and appears to exhibit some kind of intelligence] that resides upon Solaris. As with His Master’s Voice, Lem is interested in what ‘alien’ actually means. The ocean is absolutely non-human, and is, therefore, not accessible to us, can never be accessible to us, because we can only attempt to understand it by using human concepts, ideas, reasoning etc.The focus here is not on the ‘personality’ or capabilities of the ocean, but on our own limitations and arrogance. At one point in the book Lem writes that we, the human race, are not actually interested in the genuinely alien, but simply want to extend the boundaries of the human world. In other words, confronted with something that we do not understand, that we can never understand, we want to explain, to interpret it in human terms; in essence, we strive to find all things human. I found all this blistering stuff, and it is something I see around me every day. Not with aliens, of course, but with animals, cars, mountains, and so on. Consider how what most pleases or charms us about our pets are the moments when we can see ourselves in them, when they do something that we see as being recognisably human.“We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don’t know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can’t accept it for what it is.”For a book that is on the surface concerned with our relationship [or non-relationship] with the alien, Solaris somehow manages to be extraordinarily moving. That is all down to Rheya. I must admit that she broke my heart. There are a number of ways to interpret her role in the novel, just as there is more than one Rheya. First of all, there is the original Rheya, the young woman who Kelvin was married to, who took her own life years before he came to be on a space station on Solaris, and whose death he feels responsible for. Therefore, the counterfeit Rheya, Rheya2, the one who turns up at the space station, could be said to be a physical manifestation of Kelvin’s grief or guilt. In this way, Rheya2 is a kind of tormentor; it is not a blessing for Kelvin to be confronted with a facsimile of the woman he feels as though he failed and treated badly, a woman who looks so much like her but isn’t her. No, it is a form of torture.It is also possible to interpret Rheya’s appearances in the text outside of any alien context. Throughout my reading I kept returning to that key line, ‘“How do you expect to communicate with the ocean, when you can’t even understand one another?” We know that Kelvin and Rheya had a tumultuous relationship on earth, one that ended with an argument and the woman committing suicide. With Rheya2, Kelvin re-enacts this relationship. If you forget that she is non-human for a moment, the interactions between the couple are indistinguishable from the interactions of any couple going through a rough time, a couple that isn’t communicating well, who keep things from each other, who snap at and goad each other out of exasperation, who love and need each other but cannot, despite their best intentions, always show each other the patience and affection that they ought to. In this way, Solaris is a classic marriage-in-crisis narrative; it is a novel about the intense hardships of love.Finally, and most heartrending of all, there is the issue of personal identity. Rheya2 is, in the beginning, ignorant of what she is; she believes herself to be Rheya, a human woman in love with a human man named Kris Kelvin. She is, therefore, not a malevolent entity, not consciously anyway. As the narrative progresses, she senses that something is wrong; she doesn’t need to eat or sleep, she cannot be physically hurt, she remembers very little of her life before Solaris, and she cannot bear [i.e. it causes her intense physical pain] to be away from Kelvin for longer than a minute or so. Eventually, her true situation, the true nature of her being, dawns on her, and, I’m not ashamed to admit, I had a lump in my throat the size of a football.[A still from Andrei Tarkovsky’s film adaptation of the book]There is something about this set-up, about a being who believes herself to be human, who feels human, who has a human consciousness, and human emotions, suddenly realising that she has been created by an alien presence, for reasons that are not clear, that really got to me. Her confusion, her anxiety, her struggle, her bravery and nobility [yes, I am aware of how ridiculous this sounds, but I’m in earnest here] in coming to terms with herself all but ruined me. And here’s the rub, who or what exactly is she? Isn’t she Rheya? She is not the same as the original Rheya, that is true, but what does that prove? There is a woman in front of Kelvin, whose heart beats, who breathes, who calls herself Rheya, so who, or what, else can she be? There is a point in the text, when Kelvin says that he no longer sees Rheya and Rheya2 as the same person, that he accepts and loves Rheya2 as herself. The nature of personal identity is thorny; just what is it that makes you, you? Your memories, your appearance, your personality? Rheya2 ticks all these boxes. Solaris makes you ask, is Rheya2 a facsimile or is she a distinct person? Is she a person at all? If not, why not?I could go into all this in more detail, but I’ll quit while some readers are still with me. Before concluding, I want to quickly deal with the translation. I have read Solaris twice, once, and first, in the most recent [and only] rendering directly from Polish. For this reread, I read the version that is widely available, which is a translation from a French translation from the Polish. I loved the book in both versions. Moreover, despite Lem’s claim that the Polish-French-English translation is inadequate, and taking into consideration my own concerns about authenticity and accurate translations, I thought it was smooth and not at all inferior to the version translated directly from the original. I would have to read both versions simultaneously, or at least close together, to be able to compare them in detail, but I do think, taking into account its negative reputation, that the Polish-French-English version ought to be defended. I criticise translations a lot, and no doubt some people think I am too picky, but I am genuinely happy that the version of Solaris that most people will come across is an excellent read, because, whether you like Sci-Fi or not, you should read Solaris. It is as engaging, thrilling, intelligent and beautiful as any novel you will ever encounter.

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2019-02-09 22:53

    Who could have thought? Who could have thought of a planet, almost covered by ocean and that the ocean is in reality an organism enveloping the planet? Where the waves are actually muscle contractions of that organism? And that organism can "communicate" to the mind of human beings and has the ability to probe and analyze people's mind and manipulate it innermost secrets (guilt included)? And this can lead human beings to lunacy and commit suicide?I am already at the stage of my life when I already find this genre (alongside formulaic fantasy, mystery, thriller and horror) almost always too unbelievable. However, if the author is good in his storytelling, the manner of writing takes the front seat and the plot, theme and characters become secondary. This is the case for Solaris (1961) by Polish novelist, Stanislaw Lew (1921-2006).One of the very few novels that underwent "double translations" from Polish (1961) to French (1966) to English (1970) and filmed thrice. The last one was in 2002 starring George Clooney, who according to a Goodreads friend, appeared in one scenes in his birthday suit. It was directed by Steven Soderbergh and produced by James Cameron. However, the film emphasized the relationship between Kelvin and his dead wife — again excluding Lem’s scientific and philosophic themes so the book is definitely better than the film. The reason is that, in my opinion, it is the writing that makes this book worth reading. Unless, of course, if you want to see the younger George Clooney in his full glory ha ha.Yes, the writing is exceptional. I read a good portion of the book while our motorboat was afloat the notorious Devouring Bay last weekend, the passengers uncertain of their fate, considering the strong wind and the mile-high waves. Last Saturday going to my island hometown for 4 hours (the boat afloat docked at the bay waiting for passengers) and the following day, Sunday for 1 hour going back to the mainland. Since the main alien character of this book is the organism enveloping the planet Solaris, Lem made sure that the ocean, alongside all those technical terms that made his narration felt believable. While reading, I kept on glancing at the ocean and these questions actually crossed my mind: what if our oceans are actually the same organism? And we do not know it? And that is the reason for our depressions, guilt, suicidal tendencies, divorce, etc? What if?Needless to say, this book is an intelligent well-written science fiction. I actually enjoyed this more than say Isaac Asimov's I, Robot or Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. It will not insult your intelligence as it will make you think that there could really be a planet with two moons somewhere in the other still undiscovered universe.If you are a sci-fi fan and you know how to appreciate a well-written work, go for this one. It is a 1961 novel but nothing in it is outdated except for the cassette tape recorder hanging on the wall in the opening scene.

  • Scott
    2019-01-26 20:52

    Have you ever watched a reputed champion for the first time - a Muhammed Ali, a Michael Schumacher, an Andre Agassi by reputation - and been disappointed? Have you heard so much, been expecting something so great, and then watched the title fighter hit the mat in round three, the pole position driver stall on the second bend or the top seed play a dull match with only tantalizing flashes of the brilliance you’ve heard so much about?That experience is how Solaris felt for me.Solaris has a big reputation. The iconic film, the recent Clooney remake, decades of cultural references... this is a book I’ve been waiting to read for a long time. Sadly, despite its great central concept, I found it to be a less than scintillating read.Solaris begins with scientist Kris Kelvin journeying to a distant research station orbiting the strange and mysterious planet Solaris, a world covered with a vast living ocean, a being of indecipherable intent whose power is such that it controls to some degree the orbit of its world around the binary system it inhabits. On his arrival he finds the station in disarray. One of the three resident scientists, Kris’ old friend and mentor Gilbarian, has suicided while the other two seem paranoid and deranged.It soon becomes clear that unsanctioned x-ray experiments performed on the station have led the ocean-being to respond, and it has done so by delving into the memories of the men on the station, recreating perfect, walking, talking copies of the people most important to them. If they try to escape from these copies they are relentlessly pursued. If they destroy a copy, it reappears the next morning, with no memory of its destruction. Tortured by physical manifestations of their pasts the men on-board the station struggle to understand what the Ocean creature is doing and why, opening up interesting questions as to whether it will ever really be possible to understand a truly alien consciousness.If you think this is a cool setup, you aren’t alone. Two films have been made of Lem’s book, and it the central concept is what drew me to it (along with the aforementioned big reputation).However, this promise didn’t deliver for me and I found Solaris to be quite patchy. While the sections where Kris deals with his deranged colleagues or the clone of his wife are great, there are some seriously dull patches in this book. As Sreyas advised me in a Goodreads comment (thanks Sreyas!), whenever Kris enters the library, start skimming pages. Unfortunately, Kris is a frequent library user and the long, tedious outlines of all the research that had been performed on Solaris really started to grate on me (and it takes a lot of library-dullness to bore me- I’m a Librarian by trade). These fairly regular boring bits really kicked my reading enjoyment in the sensitive bits. Considering this book's great reputation, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the fault lay with me- did I miss the point? Is my typical 2017, smartphone-addled attention span too short for Lem’s slower paced story? Or are the dull sections too many and too long? After finishing Solaris I feel it is the latter, and I am genuinely disappointed that this isn’t the great book I had hoped it would be.In saying this, Lem’s world is beautifully realized, and the story is one of genuine sadness and poignancy. I haven’t seen either of the films but I’m guessing they cut Kris’ library visits and focused on the meat of the story, something that I feel this book would have benefited from. It’s by no means a boring read, or a bad story, it just contains numerous dull sections that I recommend you skim over.P.S: I love spotting dated tech/attitudes in old SF works and I collected a few in Solaris- The radio set Kris uses needs time for its ‘valves’ to warm up, the station is packed with heavy old paper books, and the 'auto-librarian' spits out bits of cardboard when asked questions. It’s all very 1960s In Space and I kept expecting someone to bust out some vinyl or for Robbie the Robot to show up.

  • Darwin8u
    2019-02-13 18:32

    “Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.”- Stanislaw Lem, SolarisI'm kinda giddy about both starting and finishing this on June 5, 2012 (Transit of Venus). I figure if I can measure how long it takes me to read this novel in English and French and Polish, I might be able to figure out the exact distance from Solaris to my Brain. Obviously, this is not science fiction meant to be read by teens/tweens, waiting for the next evolution of the Twilight series or FableHaven or whatever teenagers read now. This is Big Mamma Science Fiction dealing with big issues using philosophy and poetry to communicate both the strangeness of mankind and the gentle waves of the Universe. Being a translation*, the reader (or listener) is only able to capture an incomplete shadow of Lem's original text. However, if the shadow is any indication, the height of Solaris in Polish must have been a mimoid on a grand scale.* of a translation (see comments below).

  • Leonard Gaya
    2019-02-15 17:53

    Solaris fut traduit en français en 1964, trois ans seulement après sa publication en Pologne (les tournures de cette traduction sont d'ailleurs assez datées). Le roman de Stanislas Lem devint très tôt un classique du genre, sans doute propulsé par l'adaptation cinématographique de Tarkovsky en 1972 (le grand film de science-fiction soviétique, en réponse sans doute au 2001 de Kubrick / Clarke). Soderbergh proposera une autre version (avec George Clooney) trente ans plus tard.Il s'agit d'un livre assez troublant : Kelvin, le narrateur et personnage principal, est un psychologue envoyé sur une station spatiale en orbite basse autour d'une planète-océan, Solaris, qui fut découverte plusieurs année auparavant, gravitant autour d'un soleil double. Cette station / laboratoire / bibliothèque est habitée par un petit groupe de scientifiques étranges, qui vivent reclus, chacun dans sa cabine. Très vite, Kelvin découvre que des "revenants" rendent visite aux habitants de la station. Dans son cas, il reçoit la visite de Harey, un double de son épouse, morte des années plus tôt. La relation qui s'installe avec cette femme est un mélange amer de tendresse, de doute et de dissimulation. La fin est à la fois dramatique et énigmatique.Mais le thème essentiel de ce roman tient moins à cette relation amoureuse qu'à la recherche incessante et infructueuse d'une explication : que sont ces simulacres ? Qu'est-ce que cet océan qui semble vivant ? Est-il doué de conscience et d'intention ? Peut-on entrer en contact avec lui ? La plus grande partie du roman est consacrée à décrire la surface de l'océan, telle que le narrateur l'observe ou la rêve depuis sa cabine (les successions diversement colorés d'aubes et de crépuscules) et à relater les nombreuses théories scientifiques, les hypothèses philosophiques, les épouvantables bestiaires "métamorphiques", qui entourent la découverte de cette planète et constituent cette science (fiction) étrange qu'est la "solaristique". En définitive, tout ce corpus confus laisse une déroutante impression de futilité, semblable à celle que produit la lecture de textes de scolastique médiévale traitant de la nature de Dieu. Sur Solaris, comme sur Terre, l'homme cherche en vain la réponse à la question de son origine.Addendum: Je viens de revoir, presque d’affilée, les deux adaptations cinématographiques du roman de Stanislas Lem. Le film d’Andrei Tarkovsky (1972) visait, à l’origine, a démontrer que le cinéma soviétique pouvait faire aussi bien, voire bien mieux, que le 2001 de Stanley Kubrick. Evidemment, le film devint finalement le produit très personnel d’un cinéaste génial, une rêverie étrange faite de souvenirs atmosphériques autour d’une ancienne isba, ponctuée de morceaux de Bach et de tableaux de Brueghel. Les éléments proprement “de science-fiction” apparaissent un peu datés, convenus, voire bizarroïdes (le parcours en voiture dans les tunnels de Tokyo).En 2002, Steven Soderbergh et James Cameron proposèrent une autre adaptation, avec George Clooney, qui joue un psychothérapeute pris dans un drame psychologique et identitaire. Le cadre futuriste n’est pas essentiel et la dimension métaphysique du roman est mise au second plan. Toutefois, le style envoutant du film de Soderbergh, par de nombreux aspects, rappelle le 2001 de Kubrick… encore lui.

  • John
    2019-02-05 15:42

    It is unfortunate that Lem is labeled as an author of "science fiction", but really only because of what the american traditions for that genre have imprinted on our culture. Solaris is a deeply philosophical look at the notion of "otherness", a meditation on the hard limits at the edges of human cognition, and science's inability to look outside of problems that science can describe. Read this book instead of watching either of the films derived from it. Tarkovsky's Solaris is brilliant for it's own reasons, but it misses the deep meditation on science that makes Lem's work so interesting. That other guy's version of Solaris is well worth forgetting.

  • Patrick
    2019-02-16 17:30

    I've been meaning to read this for a while, and bought the book years ago because I know Lem is one of the greats of SF. Plus, I figured if they made a movie out of it, the story had to have some good staying power. But I had a hard time getting into it. True, I haven't read much Sci-fi lately. But I'm certainly not a genre snob. I like me some Sci-fi, vintage or otherwise. But the story just felt cumbersome to me. Half of it was an engaging psychological teaser/thriller/mystery, the other half read like the research bibliography covering 100 years of fictional science surrounding a fictional planet. The first half was pretty good. The second half was numbing. It's possible that I was missing some cunning interplay between these two parts of a book, but if that's the case, then that level of the book was utterly lost on me.

  • Stjepan Cobets
    2019-02-19 17:45

    Although the book was written back in 1960, the last century, I must admit that I did not notice it at all. This book is a timeless masterpiece of science fiction. Everything we know about the universe in the book there is a review, not to speak of the human psyche that the writer brought to the last hidden parts of humanity. The book examines all. At the end of what we know about the universe, only tiny details and the man is not at all aware of what hidden in the vastness of the stars. The whole book permeated by challenging the planet Solaris, which is, in fact, a living being. For years, scientists theorize, that are falling like the cards because everything is known humankind just does not fit the mold that people imagined, and the various theories tried to explain. The story takes us on a space station Solaris, which has stationed three hundred meters above sea level. New Scientist Kelvin to take office at the station as a researcher planet. First, it reveals that the leader of the expedition was dead and that the other two members of the team are acting strangely. But soon will discover the reason for his materializes long dead girl Harey. All his knowledge and love she felt for her coming to trial. The book I would recommend to all fans of science fiction, I enjoyed in the author's imagination.

  • Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
    2019-02-07 17:39

    When Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface, he finds a painful, hitherto unconscious memory embodied in the living physical likeness of a long-dead lover. Others examining the planet, Kelvin learns, are plagued with their own repressed and newly corporeal memories. The Solaris ocean may be a massive brain that creates these incarnate memories, though its purpose in doing so is unknown, forcing the scientists to shift the focus of their quest and wonder if they can truly understand the universe without first understanding what lies within their hearts.Well... I liked how the book explored the idea of an ocean as an alien. I saw a documentary once. It stated that, most likely, aliens aren't humanoids. We just like to imagine them that way. Although, I felt like the whole planet Solaris was the alien, not just its ocean.Other than that, the book is pretty boring. Nothing much happens. There's a lot of philosophy and little action. So Lem's book feels longer than it really is. This is one of those books I've read to be able to say I did because I enjoyed it very little. I prefer the movie. The 2002 one, not the 1976 version. I've seen them both, but the Russian version felt even more boring than the book.

  • Alain
    2019-01-29 21:52

    Cuando vuelva a oír a alguien hablar de las limitaciones de la ciencia ficción como género, cogeré un ejemplar de Solaris y se lo lanzaré a la cabeza.

  • Stuart
    2019-02-16 20:29

    Solaris: Can we communicate with an alien sentient ocean?Originally posted at Fantasy LiteratureSolaris is an amazing little novel with a colorful history. First written in 1961 by Stanislaw Lem in Polish, it was then made into a two-part Russian TV series in 1968, before being made into a feature film by famous Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972. It only reached English publication in 1970 in a Polish-to-French-to-English translation. And just when you thought it had faded from attention, both James Cameron and Steven Soderbergh expressed interest in doing a remake, with Soderbergh getting the nod in 2002 because Cameron was busy with other movies. Finally, a direct Polish-to-English translation by Bill Johnston was made available as an ebook and audiobook in 2011. In my case, I saw the Tarkovsky film first back in 1995, watched the Soderbergh film in 2002, finally read the 1970 translation in 2013, and listened to the audiobook version in 2015. Are the book and films worthy of all this attention? Absolutely. Stanislaw Lem was a well-respected author in the Soviet Union, and the 1972 Tarkovsky film became a surprise hit in Russia, playing continuously for 15 years in limited runs there. Many of Lem’s books are translated into English now, and he is well respected as a literary author interested in the nature of consciousness, human psychology, and attempts by man to understand himself and his surroundings. His relationship with the SF world is tenuous, as he preferred not to be associated with it despite his frequent use of SF tropes in his fiction. The planet Solaris is covered by a single, massive ocean, and after the initial discovery scientists began to observe unusual movements and formations in the ocean. In addition, careful calculations reveal that the planet’s orbit is not entirely stable, but that something on the planet is correcting the orbit. Entire schools of scientific and philosophic thought dedicated to studying the ocean develops over many decades and are dubbed Solaristics. The most brilliant part of the novel, and something that was completely cut from the films, is the meticulous and often humorous development of academic research on Solaris which begins with breathless excitement as scientists face the prospect of man’s first possible contact with extraterrestrial life, then splitting into various factions who make minute observations of the numerous and inscrutable formations of the ocean, which get categorized into “dendromountains”, “extensors”, “megamushrooms”, “mimoids”, “symmetriads”, “asymmetriads”, etc. Here are some sample passages: I thought to myself that what we know about Solaris, all the knowledge that filled this library, was useless ballast, a mere quagmire of facts, and that we were in the same position as when we’d started to gather this information seventy-eighty years ago; in fact, the situation was a lot worse, since all the labors of those years had proved to be in vain. In scientific circles the “case of Solaris” gradually began to sound like a lost cause, especially among the academic leadership of the Institute, where in recent years voices had been raised calling for cuts in future research funding. No one yet dared suggest closing the Station completely; this would be too overt an admission of failure.For some time one popular view, eagerly disseminated by the press, was that the thinking ocean covering the whole of Solaris was a gigantic brain more advanced by millions of years than our own civilization, that is was some kind of “cosmic yogi,” a sage, omniscience incarnate, which had long ago grasped the futility of all action and for this reason was maintaining a categorical silence towards us. The novel revolves around a small group of scientists on Solaris Station, a research station that revolves around the planet Solaris. It opens with psychologist Kris Kelvin arriving on Solaris Station to check on the three scientists stationed there. Nobody comes to greet him when he first arrives, and when he meets Snaut (must sound better in Polish), the man is a psychological wreck, initially not believing Kelvin is real, and then refusing to explain what has happened on the station, which is in disarray, or why all the scientists are acting paranoid. He also reveals that Gibarian, whom Kelvin studied with at university, has committed suicide just that morning. The third scientist is Sartorius, who is so eccentric that he stays in his lab and refuses to come out and converse.Stanislaw Lem builds his scenario carefully and immediately establishes the claustrophobic atmosphere in which the scientists operate, and throws Kelvin into the midst of this. Almost immediately, he realizes that the other scientists are encountering mysterious “guests” that appear on the station when they are sleeping. In each case, these “guests” appear to be generated from painful memories or secret desires buried deep in each person’s subconscious. Even more perplexing, these simulacra do not recognize their own natures, but lacking coherent memories. Kelvin initially is not visited, but when he does receive a guest, it turns out to be his lost lover Rheya, who committed suicide after they had a fight. Suddenly Kelvin understands why the other scientists have been acting so strangely, but he discovers it is not easy to be rid of his “guest” when he tricks Rheya into a space pod and fires her into space, because the next morning she is back… What follows is a philosophical and psychological drama that explores inner space, memories, consciousness, guilt, love, all the time with the inscrutable alien ocean impassively moving below. What is the purpose of these “guests”, which clearly come from the unconscious but have no knowledge of their origins, and don’t seem to be extensions of the ocean’s thoughts. Although the ocean is creating these simulacra from the scientists’ brain waves, it is not clear if it is doing this merely to study humans or to actually try to communicate with them. The constant formations on the ocean’s surface offer tantalizing signs of intelligence and intent, but despite decades of study their meaning is unclear. Over time, the various scholars despair of ever understanding Solaris or its ocean. This theme is brilliantly explored, and is in stark contrast to the vast majority of SF that posits that given the opportunity we can communicate with alien intelligences. But how much of that is merely our anthropomorphic bias, clouding our judgment? For a truly alien consciousness, are humans nothing more than insignificant insects buzzing around. And what does that do the giant egos of mankind’s brightest scientists? What could be more humiliating that making contact only to discover the Other was completely uninterested? Stanislaw Lem’s answers are far more cerebral and pessimistic than the simplistic aliens of Golden Age SF and beloved film/TV series like Star Wars or Star Trek, and unflinchingly deny the wish-fulfillment that SF has often nurtured. Solaris also represents a very mature response to the question of alien intelligence, which I found both brilliant and ironic.Review of the 1972 Tarkovsky film version:I first saw this slow-moving, visually-striking, and meditative 165-minute art film in college, and it’s certainly very interesting if you have the patience for it. As I mentioned above, it dispenses with the sections of the book devoted to Solaristics, and Tarkovsky’s script takes a different direction than Lem’s novel, as he prefers to keep the focus on the Kelvin’s emotional relationship with the reincarnated simulacra of Harey (Rheya is US version), his lost wife. In fact, Tarkovsky includes an entirely new section devoted to Kris Kelvin’s life on Earth with his parents and wife, which occupies a large part of the film’s length. Moreover, the focus of the film has shifted from man’s attempts to understand the sentient ocean (which is represented by numerous psychedelic scenes of bubbling liquid, but not much of the bizarre formations described in the book), to his attempts to understand his own subconscious. While this may have been a legitimate artistic choice to make the film more accessible to the audience, it also weakens the most important philosophical SF aspects of the novel.Visually the film truly is striking (though very slow-moving), and is often considered of the greatest SF films created during Soviet Union era. It also won the Grand Prix Special Jury Prize at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. It certainly is worth watching for fans of Stanislaw Lem, 1970s SF art-house films, and those interested in Russian cinema. I was pretty shocked to find it available on iTunes for rental, but I’m not sure I’m willing to dedicate almost 3 hours to watching it again. Ah, youthful exuberance~Review of the 2002 Soderbergh film version:I was pretty excited when I first heard there would be a major Hollywood remake, especially by an accomplished director like Soderbergh, who had recently finished Traffic. Unfortunately, I really didn’t like it. Although Soderbergh claims he intended to be more faithful to the book than Tarkovsky by refocusing the story on Solaris and not Earth, he too dispensed with the scientific study of Solaris (Solaristics) and the ocean in favor of the psychological drama of Kelvin (played by George Clooney) and Rheya (Natasha McElhone).Lem certainly didn’t like this approach either, and in 2002 he wrote “To the best of my knowledge, the book was not dedicated to erotic problems of people in outer space. Indeed, in Solaris I attempted to present the problem of an encounter in Space with a form of being that is neither human nor humanoid.” I wholly agree that this film became far too much a “romance in outer space”, which was not the book’s intention. To be fair, I think the novel’s biggest theme, the futility of humans attempting to understand a truly ancient consciousness, is not an easy concept to translate into film, but Tarkovsky did it somewhat better.

  • Hildur
    2019-01-26 21:58

    Solaris wasn't very rememberable.I'm not even completely sure what it was about because not a lot of things happened.The book is short (just over 200 pages) but it doesn't feel that way. I had to drag myself through the main character reading endless reports about the planet Solaris. I get it! The planet's weird. Can we move on now? No? FINE, have it you way, Mr. Lem, but you won't get many stars from me on goodreads!It probably would have been better had it been a picture book. If you could skip most of the descriptions and just look at a few pictures instead, the book would probably get cut down to a quarter of its current size. This guy is no Tolkien, but he likes his detailed descriptions.On a positive note, I'm impressed by the author's imagination. He was able to create his own unique world that made the book admirable and intelligent. But did I enjoy it? No. "A" for effort though.

  • Nikola Pavlovic
    2019-01-28 20:42

    "Nisam znao nista ostajuci u nepokolebljivoj veri da nije proslo vreme okrutnih cuda." "Ono finis vitae sed non amoris." - Kraj života nije i kraj ljubavi (lat.).

  • Dagio_maya
    2019-02-09 23:41

    “Stazione Solaris. Zero, zero. Atterraggio della capsula compiuto. Fine.”Scoperto 100 anni prima, Solaris è un particolare pianeta che gira attorno a due soli: uno rosso ed uno azzurro. La superficie del pianeta è quasi completamente occupata da uno strano oceano composto, anziché dalla terrestre acqua, da una sostanza gelatinosa e schiumosa che si coagula assumendo bizzarre forme. L'oceano domina l'ambiente tanto da essere riconosciuto come essere intelligente. Un'intelligenza, tuttavia, che l'uomo non riesca cogliere, a comprendere poiché va al di là della sua capacità. Proprio per riuscire a capire nasce la Solaristica, scienza che si dedica alo studio di questo particolare pianeta.Chris, psicologo e scienziato, si è preparato a lungo per questa spedizione ma quando arriva alla base spaziale di Solaris è subito chiaro che qualcosa non va per il verso giusto.Una lettura che inquieta nella misura in cui al si vede palesemente come metafora filosofica dell'esistenza. L'uomo con il suo innato spirito dominatore si è spinto nello spazio cercando di stabilire un contatto non rendendosi conto che non si può comunicare con altri esseri quando sulla Terra stessa le relazioni sono difficili.”Siamo umanitari e nobili, non abbiamo intenzione di conquistare altre razze, vogliamo solo trasmettere i nostri valori e in cambio impadronirci del loro patrimonio. Ci crediamo cavalieri dell’ordine del Santo Contatto. Questa è una bugia. Noi cerchiamo solo l’uomo. Non abbiamo bisogno di altri mondi, abbiamo bisogno di specchi. Non sappiamo che cosa farcene di altri mondi. Uno ci basta, quello in cui sguazziamo. Vogliamo trovare il ritratto idealizzato del nostro mondo! Cerchiamo dei pianeti con una civiltà migliore della nostra… ma che sia l’immagine evoluta di quel prototipo che è il nostro passato primordiale” Presenze, ospiti: atmosfera angosciante e misteriosa che conduce nella psiche umana.Una spinta a riflettere su quel pericoloso “vizio” chiamato antropomorfismo.

  • Nickolas the Kid
    2019-01-24 20:40

    Τι εκπληκτικός συνδυασμός φιλοσοφίας και επιστημονικής φαντασίας!!! Ο Σολάρις είναι ένας περίεργος πλανήτης.. Οι άνθρωποι τον φοβούνται, τον θαυμάζουν, τον λατρεύουν και εν τέλει θέλουν να τον καταστρέψουν. Όμως δεν είναι μόνο αυτό... Ο πλανήτης μοιάζει με έναν τεράστιο εγκέφαλο. Μπορεί ο άνθρωπος να εξερευνήσει κάθε γωνία του; Να δώσει εξηγήσεις για όλα όσα συμβαίνουν ή ακόμα ακόμα να τον χαρτογραφήσει;; Φυσικά, ο Λεμ γράφει μια αλληγορία για το συνειδητό και το ασυνείδητο! Αλήθεια τι ακριβώς είναι οι αναμνήσεις; Πόσο μας επηρεάζουν τα όνειρα; Τα βλέπουμε σαν τιμωρία, ευχαρίστηση ή βασανιστήριο;; Τέλος, ο συγγραφέας πιστεύω πως θίγει με έναν τρόπο αρκετά σκωπτικό την δίψα του ανθρώπου για να κατακτήσει άλλους πλανήτες.“Ξεκινάμε για το διάστημα έτοιμοι για όλα: για την μοναξιά, για τις κακουχίες, για την εξάντληση και το θάνατο. Αν και η ταπεινοφροσύνη δεν μας επιτρέπει να το δηλώνουμε, κατά κανόνα έχουμε μεγάλη ιδέα για τον εαυτό μας. Κι όμως, αν το εξετάσουμε πιο προσεκτικά, όλος αυτός ο ενθουσιασμός μας είναι κάλπικος και υποκριτικός. Δεν θέλουμε να κατακτήσουμε το σύμπαν, θέλουμε να επεκτείνουμε τα σύνορα της Γης μέχρι τα όρια του Σύμπαντος.” (επιστήμονας Σνάουτ)Και η σκωπτική του διάθεση αγκαλιάζει όλα τα έργα επιστημονικής φαντασίας με έναν μοναδικό τρόπο!ΥΓ: Το βιβλίο μιλάει για την Σολαρολογία. Μια επιστήμη που φυσικά ασχολείται με τον πλανήτη Σολάρις. Οι πολλές λεπτομέρειες και τα ονόματα των διαφόρων επιστημόνων κουράζουν πολλές φορές. Γιαυτό από μένα 4,5*

  • Tomas Ramanauskas
    2019-01-23 15:28

    I believe that great sci-fi books are never really about the future and always about the very now. So no wonder that Lem doesn’t spend even a sentence drawing a map of the things to come. Despite being set somewhere in distant future or alternate reality, “Solaris” tackles the human condition of today (nevermind if you were reading it in 60s or in 10s) and does it by dealing with the unerasable past as a recurring spine. Like all the gargantuan books (depth, not size), the themes touched here could be listed in pages, but what stood out for me is a focus on general symptoms of how we deal with the unknown, mysterious in our Western world. It is applicable to variety of levels: cosmos in general, unsolvable questions of purpose & meaning, difference in people, menacing, conflicting ideas. Lem lists all the attemps to understand unfathomable ocean in Solaris, which is the lone habitant of the planet, the unknown kind of intelect. The idea which nearly gets a universal green light is to nuke it all to hell. This is clear in geo-politics, in war, in muscle flexing of power nations. This is also what leaves us paralysed in relationships. Rationalising ad nauseum doesn't get us anywhere.Just like the main hero Kris Kelvin, we are left drifting yet eager to know, shaken yet itching for more of the disturbing medicine. This is not a book for the answers, but a damn great one for asking thrilling questions.

  • Owlseyes
    2019-01-30 17:43

    In our days, it’s quite normal the “a-new-planet-found” story in the news. We almost have a classification system of the “planetary species” that populate the cosmos. They vary in size and composition, in age and orbits, and distance from here-earth …; we‘re familiar with the topic. Yet, by 1961 that was not the case. The peculiarity of S. Lem resides in imagining an ocean-planet, a planet-type with intelligent capabilities,messing up …experimenting with humans, stationed there. Humans are victims of a much more intelligent agency, one who that has the capability to get into their memories and create duplicates or ….”Phantoms”; flesh-and-bone duplicates.One of the ideas I had, recurrently, while I watched the (Russian) movie by Boris Nirenburg , was that maybe Lem had some familiarity with the idea of the Unconscious; an area escaping the grip of time and space coordinates, in the Freudian sense, and out of which the humans got only symbols, representations via dreams…,fragments. The Ocean-planet of Lem is men’s sort of unconscious, but this time around with intentionality; a bright one challenging humans for a response: an experiment too. But, first, the story, which the movie of 1968 follows very closely to the book’s. Onboard the ship Prometheus travels Chris Kelvin. He’s headed towards the Alpha Aquarii constellation, and more specifically, to planet Solaris. He knows there is stationed a scientific crew. Upon arriving he notices strange things are happening. Snout, the cyberneticist and Xeno-biologist looks disgruntled. Snout has been puzzled by the appearance of “visitors”, sort of flesh-and-bone ghosts that had a negative impact on the (mental) lives of the scientists. Gybarian, for example, is dead. Only Snout and Sartorius are alive; and yet, Sartorius, by all means, hides the other character he plays with in his bedroom; a lady. Snout himself, sort of, fights with a ghost, but he doesn’t tell much about.(movie Solaris, 1968)When resorting to his bedroom Kelvin finds out there’s someone else disturbing his sleep; he cannot believe: his wife (Harey), he was sure she died 10 years ago; by suicide. The first reactions are of non-belief; and yet, much later, of true love. It’s a love the other two men try to thwart. Yet Kevin doesn’t give up, and even tries to get back to earth with the lady; unsuccessfully. “These creatures…they don’t know where they came from…cannot be killed”. Harey has a limited knowledge of her past; she forgets a lot, but Kevin helps. He finds her a little bigger than earth-Harey; but he surely loves her. As Kevin gets to sleep, she checks on facts, so to speak. She knows she’s not human; she’s not “her”. She holds some doubts on Kevin’s love. Snout is truly the scientific mind: he knows that the “more time she’s with you, more qualities she acquires”. "They mirror our expectations" Most of the intense scenes (of guilt, namely) relate to the dilemmas Kevin will go through: he will have to choose between Harey or the mission; they’re incompatible: logic and feeling. The crew had a deal (their "experiment"): they would try a contact with the alien mind/ocean. They want ghosts to be gone. They would send their “record “ to the Ocean using a “flash of light”. Now that Harey is gone, by her “own” free will, the movie ends with an inconsolable Kevin ruminating on the future: he’s certain of “more cruel miracles” to happen…”what else the alien mind will show us?”. The Tarkovsky (1972) and Soderbergh (2002) versions of the novel deserve a viewing because they focus on different aspects of the novel. (The answer of the Soviet cinematography to the 2001 Space Odyssey)(movie Solaris, 1972)(Closing lines: "everything we've done is forgiven"; Solaris 2002)

  • Mariel
    2019-02-01 16:54

    "Typical me, typical meI gave my cargo to the seaI gave the water what it always wanted to be." - Destroyer's Rubies Was the ocean a living creature? It could hardly be doubted any longer by any but lovers of paradox or obstinacy. It was no longer possible to deny the 'psychic' functions of the ocean, no matter how that term might be defined. Certainly it was only too obvious that the ocean had 'noticed' us. This fact alone invalidated that category of Solarist theories which claimed that the ocean was an 'introverted' world, a 'hermit entity,' deprived by a process of degeneration of the thinking organs it once possessed, unaware of the existence of external objects and events, the prisoner of a gigantic vortex mental currents created and confined in the depths of this monster revolving around two suns.A head hunched over in shame. The thinking man's pose. Rodin's arm on Odin's blade thinking deep space nine. By hook or by a crook, a head resting in arm. The world on your shoulder and the whole in his hand's. Who has the head? When Kris goes to sleep it is her head on his chest. Go to sleep from holding the position. A rush of something to the blood. He left the pills in a drawer. He didn't think she'd do it. No one would have thought she would have done it. A long time ago they thought if they told each other everything it would keep them together. The most important thing. A long time ago. The weight of the head feels real. I didn't know Rheya who was real or Rheya who is made. I felt like it would be a forever birth. Responsible for.Is someone fucking with you? Who has the head and whip the tail. Those little guys swim like the little fishy guys that could. Is she made of the Solaris ocean. The human body is something something percentage of water. Sea salt of sweaty palms. Held the thinking position too long. Built of dreams and what you forgot to forget. I don't care. Right on, Kris. I felt the weight on his head before he goes to sleep and before she pop goes the weasel into the atmosphere of his consciousness."A normal man," he said. "What is a normal man? A man who has never committed a disgraceful act? Maybe, but has he never had uncontrollable thoughts? Perhaps he hasn't. But perhaps something, a phantasm, rose up from somewhere within him, ten or thirty years ago, something which he suppressed and then forgot about, which he doesn't fear since he knows he will never allow it to develop and so lead to any action on his part. And now, suddenly, in broad daylight, he comes across this thing... this thought, embodied, riveted to him, indestructible. He wonders where he is... Do you know where he is?""Where?""Here," whispered Snow, "on Solaris." The flaming heads on lashing tails swim on the horizon somewhere beyond infinity. They would immediately locate the nearest Applebees that serves food that tastes like the Applebees at home. Time has told and heads put together split off into another on the same body. The waters of the Solaris ocean don't wash clean their feet. They traveled a long way to see what they wanted to see. Space ships and libraries and historians. Reveal to me all of your secrets. Kris studies a hundred years war. Defeated over books, a last breath effort. There's no time. The weight of wild undiscovery. It isn't on the tip of your tongue. I don't know how I feel about all of the exposition. There are an awful lot of exposition passages in Lem's novel. Maybe it was too many. Kris reads a lot. Kris goes to sleep, smothered in research. Reveal to me your secrets. It must be within reach of my fingertips.The three men float in their separate chambers. They are islands of men and they will swim to Kris' planet far away to plant flags of we know what is best for you. She is gone, whoever she is. I imagined Snow's horror of an obsession on his face that breathes in close quarters and does not coexist. He cannot leave until he has the answer that exists in an idea that could bleed. His horror is sealed behind high tech doors and locks. He went a long way to stand on Kris' shores and part his red seas by force. How could they do it? I don't know what Kris loved in his baby Rheya but I know he felt another presence on his own. The other two men come a long way to take it from him. They don't go anywhere at all that I can see in their recurring nightmares. Kris reads about the foot steps before him. A man flies away from home to find the face of a baby over the ocean. The water looks like muscles under skin. The ocean ripples red as if it could bleed. Does it feel them in their individual people planets? The theory is that Solaris sends their ideas to torment them. Maybe it met them where they already were. The weight and responsible for was what got me. The constructions other men built didn't get me as much, unless their waves reverberated through space that they came and saw and felt responsible for. They were alive, the men who were lost and didn't say they had the answers.I wanted to read about Solaris from these windows flying by. But it was also Kris hiding in a room. Sartorius hides behind his occupation in another life. Instruments and data are something to do with his hands. When the pilots forget themselves and go "missing" on around Solaris in every day it is a tightening of his organs. The ones he lives with. When Snow hunches on his stool and eats as if he is an echo of a man who still knows how to live he saw it in what he was made of to be afraid. They retreat into their echoes of themselves. Kris goes into the thinking man's pose. When his heart bleeds he retreats into a flight plan for the rest of his life. He's a transmission in some space inside of himself and who will ever meet it.In the end Kris tells himself how he will live by not living. I know this knee cap crushing way of walking through life. I would be afraid to meet Solaris, to meet the other person made of what comes from me. I knew he would go on living in this way.

  • Chris_P
    2019-01-22 15:57

    After being the victim of constant mockery from friends for never having watched Tarkovsky over the years, I finally decided it was about time. Of course, there's no watching the film without having read the novel first, not in my books. First stop, Solaris. Mixed feelings is what I have about this one, I must admit. At first, I was so hooked, I almost lost my sleep over it. I loved the atmosphere. During the first half, there's this constant, unnerving feeling of dread like the one you get when walking down a dark path you don't recognize and you know that there could literally be anything hiding in the shadows. I'm not sure if that was the author's intention, but I honestly don't know when was the last time a book made me feel that way. This uneasiness turned into philosophic pondering after a while, which, considering how it mixed with the sci-fi-ish mysterious atmosphere, was a unique experience all by itself. What spoiled the fun for me were the intervals of what seemed to be endless scientific information about the planet and the past explorations. I know that this added to the book's point as well as the myth's realism, but interrupting the amazing plot to provide me with all this boring scientific information, well, it was kind of a turn-off and it happened twice. My second complaint concerns the ending which I found rather abrupt and without closure.Four stars for the emotional and philosophical depth, as well as the riveting atmosphere. Four stars that would have been five if the pace was steady and the ending different.

  • Carmine
    2019-02-14 19:50

    La caduta della ragione "Ti prego, fa che il tempo dei miracoli crudeli non sia finito."Alla fine che cosa spinge l'umanità a esplorare se stessa, il suo comportamento in relazione al mondo che abita, il mondo all'interno dell'universo e l'universo in relazione ad altro?La volontà di porsi domande e raggiungere risposte; ampliare sempre di più la conoscenza e spingersi ogni oltre umano limito, fisico o mentale, affinché l'esistenza acquisti significato e non si depauperi nel minaccioso oblio che attende al termine di tutto.Non è forse la necessità di riempire un vuoto che ci ha spinto verso Solaris?Atterreremo su questo misterioso pianeta; e della superficie ne studieremo ogni anfratto, ogni pertugio e ogni più piccola imperfezione.Non siamo venuti qui per scoprire la verità dietro questo misterioso mare che partorisce sogni e ci culla nei suoi silenzi.Siamo qui per arrenderci.

  • Panos Lettas
    2019-01-22 16:28

    Δεν βάζω αστεράκια πια στα βιβλία, αλλά κι αν έβαζα μάλλον δε θα μου έφταναν.

  • Oscar
    2019-02-19 15:29

    Desde siempre había oído hablar de 'Solaris', según muchos, la mejor novela de ciencia ficción no anglosajona que se ha escrito, siendo para muchos otros un absoluto plomazo. Ni tanto ni tan poco, como suele decirse. Ciertamente, era remiso a un primer acercamiento por esta fama de lectura difícil y filosófica, pero el libro se lee bastante bien, aunque es verdad que hay que prestar atención a su lectura. Y es que no estamos ante una novela de aventuras espaciales, sino más bien todo lo contrario, se trata de una historia claustrofóbica, reflexiva, pesimista, enigmática, triste.Solaris, un planeta enigmático. Tiene dos soles, uno rojo y otro azul, y se trata un planeta totalmente cubierto por un océano, un océano pensante, un ente vivo. Solaris, un planeta que trae de cabeza a los científicos desde su descubrimiento.La novela empieza con la llegada de Kris Kelvin al planeta Solaris para realizar estudios solarísticos. Pero se encuentra con una situación anómala: la estación aparece desordenada, casi abandonada, Gibarian, uno de sus residentes está muerto, y los otros dos, Snaut y Sartorius, parecen trastornados, locos, por algo que ha sucedido y está sucediendo en torno a la estación. Kelvin, el narrador, intentará comprender lo que está pasando, porque algo está pasando, ya que él también empieza a sentir y ver "otras" presencias en la estación.Para mí, el mayor atractivo de 'Solaris' radica en la relaciones entre los habitantes de la estación, sobre todo entre Kelvin y Harey, que convierte la novela en una triste historia de amor. La atmósfera creada por Lem, sobre todo al principio de la novela, es magnífica, y llegas a sentir realmente la tensión y angustia del protagonista. Por último, destaco también toda la parte epistemológica del libro, donde Lem desarrolla la trama científica y filosófica, la historia y descripción del planeta Solaris, siendo extraordinarias las descripciones de los monstruos del océano.'Solaris', novela de múltiples lecturas, llena de dilemas morales y filosóficos, nos habla de la imperfección del ser humano y de sus limitaciones a la hora de utilizar la ciencia como explicación del Cosmos.La novela me ha gustado sin entusiasmarme.(Después de un tiempo tras la lectura de esta novela, me doy cuenta de que la huella que me ha dejado es mayor de lo que pensaba. Así que subo de 3 a 4 estrellas.)

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-02-09 21:50

    448. Solaris, Stanislaw LemSolaris is a 1961 philosophical science fiction novel by Polish writer Stanisław Lem. The book centers upon the themes of the nature of human memory, experience and the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species. In probing and examining the oceanic surface of the planet Solaris from a hovering research station the human scientists are, in turn, being apparently studied by the sentient planet itself, which probes for and examines the thoughts of the human beings who are analyzing it. Solaris has the ability to cast their secret, guilty concerns into a material form, for each scientist to personally confront. All efforts of human probing into the secrets of Solaris proved to be futile. As Lem wrote himself, "The peculiarity of those phenomena seems to suggest that we observe a kind of rational activity, but the meaning of this seemingly rational activity of the Solarian Ocean is beyond the reach of human beings". تاریخ نخستین خوانش: شانزدهم ماه اکتبر سال 1987 میلادیعنوان: سولاریس؛ نویسنده: استانسیلاو لم؛ مترجم: صادق مظفرزاده؛ تهران، فاریاب، 1364؛ در 306 ص؛ چاپ دوم: تهران، نشر مینا، 1371؛ در 257 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای خیال انگیز و علمی تخیلی از نویسندگان - قرن 20 مکلوین راهی سیاره سولاریس میشود، سیاره ای که در زمین بسیار مشهور است و سالهای بسیاری توجه دانشمندان را به خود جلب کرده است. بر روی این سیاره یک اقیانوس هوشمند وجود دارد. کلوین هنگام ورود به سیاره با پدیده ای عجیب رو به رو میشود. اقیانوس دست به کار تازه زده، او تصورات و خاطرات ساکنین را به صورت مادی عینیت میبخشد. در حقیقت او به هنگام خواب، به ذهن فضانوردان نفوذ کرده، و فرد خاصی در ذهن آنها را که مرده، دوباره زنده میکند و .... اگر یادم مانده باشد، جایی در همین کتاب نوشته بود: هر دانش حقیقی همواره یک دانش حرامزاده در کنار خود دارد. ستاره بینی روایت تمسخرآمیز و دلقک وار ستاره شناسی است. شیمی، زمانی کیمیا بوده. کاریکاتور علوم طبیعی هم، جادوگری و رمالی است. ... ا. شربیانی

  • Miquel Codony
    2019-02-08 19:52

    (4,5/5)Los diálogos se me han hecho muy raros y se lo atribuyo a la traducción, aunque lo cierto es que los pasajes descriptivos sonaban muy bien.Fama merecida y precioso final, pero todavía tengo que procesarlo un poco.

  • Cindy
    2019-02-01 16:39

    Thanks to a smart GR friend, I recently found out that Solaris was made into a movie long before the 2002 George Clooney/Soderburgh release. And it was in 1972 in the Soviet Union! And it gets great reviews over at IMDB. (What ever did we do without IMDB?) And if World Cat isn't lying to me, it looks like the library one town south of me has a copy! Well, well, well, a project for 2011.Anyone out there seen it?(Update! March 7, 2011 - I saw the Tarkovskiy adaptation last night. Check out my mini-movie review in comment 20 below.)At any rate --- I'm wavering between 3 and 4 stars for this. The star demotion is only a failure on my part. I think I might have read this at the wrong time and place. I should have been fully awake and in a comfy, quiet place where I could contemplate the depth of the concepts.Solaris is a short book. (My copy has a skosh over 200 pages.) But it covers more than a century of science and exploration on the eponymous planet Solaris. Lem tells the reader about all the history through the lead character Kris Kelvin as he reads books on the science station that hovers above the planet. More than half of the book is exposition. Lots of heady exposition. I guess it was the only way for Lem to fit such a huge story into such a tiny book?Oh, but the ideas! The ideas are fabulous! Amazing! I'm always in love with authors who can imagine an alien entity that is really nothing at all like is portrayed in pop culture. Lem does this in spades. All the while, he deftly covers the philosophical and religious implications.A fair warning: if you're a sci-fi lover who doesn't care for internal struggles and emotions, Solaris most certainly isn't the book for you. There's minimal action. It's a fabulous book of ideas. Just make sure you're in a place to concentrate.