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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #45 dnia: Marzec 13, 2008, 11:38:26 pm »
Hello,

[justify]I have just finishing reading Fiasco, I find this novel very interesting (although a bit too technical by moments) in which we find some of Lem's favourite subjects : the difficulty, and even the impossibility to communicate with foreign intelligences. The particularly aggressive behaviour of the earthmen effectively surprised me. Maziek, I agree with your analysis.[/justify]

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I can' believe, that Hermes (she's crue) was able to make disaster just to "contact". It's crazy - like I come to Your place, ask for a talk, and refused draw a .45 Magnum and kill Your wife - just to make You talk with me.

[justify]It is really exaggerated, the fact that the Quintans are in war for years and refuse contact do not give to the earthmen the right to act as they do. Also, that the crew of Hermes destroys the cosmodrome (or the entire planet) without trying to know what really happened to Tempe is not very realistic. The story is situated in several centuries, in a time when the humans developed a very advanced technology, we can reasonably think that their mentality evolved too. I think that to organize such an expedition, the humans necessarily have to abandon their primary and aggressive instincts, to have rise them self to a more rational level of thought. Consequently, the fact that the crew of Hermes acts with such a violence does not seem to me coherent with that.[/justify]

[justify]As regards Quintans, I was believing that the warts which sees Temple could be sorts of hives, what would let think that they are insects or some things like that. The net which under the cosmodrome could have been weaved by them. However, the idea of creatures having abandoned their mobility to lock itself into a quasi-vegetative state assisted by a complex structure of high technology is very interesting and effectively very logical.[/justify]

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The story of the termite mounds in chapter 3 seems to match the idea of a closed system of meditating Quintans cared for by an automated technosphere:
 
The character in the story fights his way through a defensive barrier of soldier termites... in the central mound he finds a group of special termites which are gathered around a sphere made of some unknown material. They are motionless, extremely old and make no attempt to defend themselves... they all die when the sphere is removed.
 
Could this symbolize the activity of the Quintans? Could the sphere symbolize the object of the Quintans' meditation? Some kind of thought experiment? Prayer? Astral projection?! They seem to have abandoned their physical bodies to pursue more fully something profoundly non-physical..
 
Lem must have some purpose in relating this story to the reader...

Good analysis, Silverado.

[justify]Quintans would not be then more than brains, connected altogether and living in a sort of "virtual reality", without worrying about what takes place outside, leaving their machines to take care of relations with possible visitors. Under these conditions, it's not surprising that the mission of Hermes ends in a fiasco.[/justify]

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #46 dnia: Wrzesień 07, 2010, 02:48:53 pm »
Surely that when our hero realises he has seen 'The Quintans' all it means is that they are termites and he recognizes them from  Earth. Hence the need for the pre-story.