Quotes from “Fiasco” by Stanislaw Lem

stanislaw lem fiasco

He laughed at the mighty efforts made by the artists of Earth to reach beyond the boundary of human imagination (which must visualize everything); at how the poor devils beat against the walls in their minds; and at how little, really, they departed from platitude, though straining to the utmost to depart—while here, in a single acre, there was more proud originality than in a hundred of their anxious, anguished art shows.

Just as in a dream, whatever he saw was both totally alien and extremely familiar.

It seemed to him that eons passed in these dreams and in the voids between them. Suddenly he awoke.

She will descend from a bradychronality to a retrochronality, and from there jump to a galactochronal line. Emerging, she’ll rendezvous with the Hermes in an unfolded space-time continuum.

A man craves ultimate truths. Every mortal mind, I think, is that way. But what is ultimate truth? It’s the end of the road, where there is no more mystery, no more hope. And no more questions to ask, since all the answers have been given. But there is no such place.

The Universe is a labyrinth made of labyrinths.

The theory of the “other side” of the Hades nucleus, whose infinite space-time compression somehow presented no problem for the transfinite engineers of the alien universe, was really a mathematical fantasy spun by astronomers intoxicated with teratopology, the latest and highly fashionable grandchild of Cantor’s ancient theory.

He who explored space would perish in space.

In the growth of knowledge there are no irreplaceable people. Had there been no Planck, Fermi, Meitner, Einstein, or Bohr, the discoveries leading to the atomic bomb would have been made by others.

When we turn our backs on the world, the world does not go away. Where there is mind, there is also cruelty. They go together. One should accept this, since it cannot be changed.