Autor Wątek: Pirx and his Tales  (Przeczytany 4320 razy)

Metalist

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Pirx and his Tales
« dnia: Listopad 04, 2005, 02:29:56 am »
Some time ago I read up on exactly in which order Dr. Lem wrote the stories that are known as Tales of Pirx the Pilot. The original "Tales of Pirx the Pilot" started with the "Test" and ended with "Terminus". From what I read it looks like Terminus and Ananke were the first Pirx stories that were written. Ananke of course being a story from "More Tales...". Although I also recently found that "On Patrol" was written in 1959 which is a year or so before "Terminus" (which is not dramatically important in this discussion, but never the less I now question the integrity of my sources.) Still, these works were separated by Lem and subsequently put in ; Tales.. and More tales...
What I'm wondering is what do you (the one reading this) think Lem's reasons were for stopping at Terminus in Tales. Besides the obvious uniting chronology of the stories do you believe that the resolution in Terminus is the resolution to the whole book "Tales of Pirx the Pilot"?
I believe that the theme of Man Against Machine is also the obvious connecting theme. But if read as a whole, what do you think are other continuing themes and plots that run throughout the book (encompassing all the stories)? Is "Tales of Pirx the Pilot" and all stories in it a whole book in it self or is it a collection of different "Tales" that do not have a specific plot continuing from one story to the next? Could one combine all the stories in Tales and present it as a single entity?

Terminus

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Re: Pirx and his Tales
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Listopad 04, 2005, 03:53:58 am »
Instead of adding anything really to what You're suggesting, I just like to mention that in Poland whole book was originally written and published in one part, there is no division to 'tales' and 'more tales' in the original.

I know this doesn't mean much but it concens what you wrote about stories being here and there.

As for YOur idea about all the tales being connected in one book... uhm... isn't that what Lem did? Hihi. I know You probably mean that the form of separate tales should be changed, but they are separate episodes of Pirx's life, so I don't think any other form is possible.
« Ostatnia zmiana: Listopad 04, 2005, 03:55:44 am wysłana przez Terminus »

innate

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Re: Pirx and his Tales
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Listopad 04, 2005, 04:39:10 am »
(Gee, I read the first couple of sentences and I thought this was going to be a parody of me!)

From a bibliography that I found at some point, it looks like those that ended up in the Tales were first published  between 1959 and 1961, and those that ended up in More Tales were from between 1965 and 1971. Presumably the American publisher commissioned (if that's the word) the translator to do half of them, and he just started at the beginning.  

Besides the recent discussion on Pirx and AI, something that stands out in my mind is that we will still be terrestrial creatures of itches and sweat and nerves and foolish mistakes and blame and delusion who are not particularly well-suited to metal and zero-g and vacuum.

[I wonder how they seemed back in the era when cybernetics was denounced as ideologically incorrect pseudoscience]
« Ostatnia zmiana: Listopad 04, 2005, 04:45:50 am wysłana przez innate »

Metalist

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Re: Pirx and his Tales
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Listopad 04, 2005, 06:16:20 am »
That is an excellent point and that is actually one of my favorite things about Lem's works and especially with Pirx. I truly love that Lem phylosophy (or rather what I believe it to be) technological progress won't necessarily better the human condition. We will remain human and all that comes with being that.

I first read Pirx in a Soviet publication that had "The Test" through "Terminus", but then it also had "The Hunt for Setaur" as the last story of the book. I only learned later that the original publication of Tales was "The Test" through "Terminus" , only. But now that I know what the original encompassed, I think that something happens to Pirx in the end of Terminus that changes Pirx and his life forever. More then any of the other tales before. This however doesn't have to be some great cataclysm, but a realisation. It happens within the time he's thinking before he signs Terminus' scarp order. Something in him dies and something new is born. I think that this last tale (of the first book) closes a chapter in his life and opens a new one (as ironic as that statement is).

innate

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Re: Pirx and his Tales
« Odpowiedź #4 dnia: Listopad 09, 2005, 07:15:08 am »
It could be; I'm having a hard time deciding because I was not very sure of Pirx's thoughts and motivations when he made out the order.

Terminus

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Re: Pirx and his Tales
« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: Listopad 19, 2005, 02:31:30 am »
Well, I guess that saying that Pirx's life changed after he signed the Terminus-scrap-order is rather an overinterpretation.
« Ostatnia zmiana: Listopad 19, 2005, 02:31:41 am wysłana przez Terminus »

Metalist

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Re: Pirx and his Tales
« Odpowiedź #6 dnia: Listopad 22, 2005, 02:25:16 am »
I agree with you that the "signing" was almost anticlimactic, but I think that the change was mainly in his psyche. It's just like in life, once in a while you'll wake up in the morning or do something seemingly anticlimactic, or even a rogue thought that just changes your perception of reality for reasons that you only later realize. I guess what I'm trying to say is, what changed in Pirx is what we in Yiddish call "mench" (which is sort of like your perception  and intuition mixed in one)
« Ostatnia zmiana: Listopad 22, 2005, 02:28:02 am wysłana przez Metalist »

Terminus

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Re: Pirx and his Tales
« Odpowiedź #7 dnia: Listopad 22, 2005, 12:55:38 pm »
Ok. If so, please give me an example of how Pirx's change manifested itself later, after Terminus.