Autor Wątek: Ending of "Fiasco"  (Przeczytany 53837 razy)

Zlatan

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #30 dnia: Lipiec 12, 2006, 07:25:31 pm »
Thanks NIKA, the only book of Lem I have read in English was "The Cyberiad" genially (in my opinion) translated by Michael Kandel.

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Having that in mind, I must see things like "Mortal Engines" as by-products, nevertheless they provide one of the best entertainments I've ever experienced...

LOL. I do not see them as by-products. I know you do neither.

Zlatan

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #31 dnia: Lipiec 12, 2006, 07:38:53 pm »
Just to be specific - not byproducts of Lem's litterary production. I think "Mortal Engines" are as much mainstream as "Summa Technologiae".

Byproduct of the evolution of life on our planet? I do not know... may be?

Terminus

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #32 dnia: Lipiec 12, 2006, 10:48:57 pm »
Well, as you no doubt know, life itself is considered by many to be a by-product of some more general processes ::)

Of course I love Mortal Engines, I was just toying ::)

Zlatan

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #33 dnia: Lipiec 17, 2006, 09:01:58 pm »
The closing words of "Fiasko" are (in the polish language edition and in my awkward translation): "...he realized that he was seeing Quintans".
This states clearly that there were some Quintans. And we know from previous descriptions that they were not machines (unless they were some kind of biological machines designed and construed by the real Quintans but undistinguishable from "natural" living beings).
But while Quintans could well be - and most probably were those spider-like webs there is after mine opinion no good reason to call them "spiders" or "fungi". Remember what Tempe (vel Pirx vel Parvis vel Parsifal) just before starting on his lonely quest is told by Nakamura?
Igen in my translation: "I do recomend humility. Not caution, not even trusting. I recomend humility which means readiness to accept that everything, literally everything that the pilot will see is quite different from what it will look like."
So neither spiders nor fungi - something we simply do not know.

Now something else:
Quote:
I can't believe, that Hermes (she's cruel) 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.  


Well I can. Just think of still young, strong, virile men who has not been with a woman in many, many years.
Isn't it thinkable they could become agressive and start to behave just like in your example? (Especially toward somebody's wife).

More seriously - I think this cruel and irrational behaviour of the "Earthians" is exactly the main point of "Fiasko".
Think just of all those historical conflicts on our planet where both antagonists were full of good will (or believed so) and nevertheless ended in bloodbathes.
By the way, even on individual level - how do we react or what kind of feeling does it arouse in us when we meet with total contact refusal by others?
« Ostatnia zmiana: Lipiec 17, 2006, 09:04:33 pm wysłana przez Zlatan »

Terminus

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #34 dnia: Lipiec 18, 2006, 12:20:17 am »
Nevertheless, it still seems a little short-sighted to blow up entire planet just because somebody didn't want to talk to us. I daresay even more: it's madly irresponsible, not to mention cruel. I don't recall Quintians killing people or destroying their homeworld (correct me if I'm wrong).

So, even if Earth ship's crew had consulted our home planet's authorities, even if they had the best intentions, it was unacceptable to end humanity's first foreign encounter in such a killing spree.

Zlatan

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #35 dnia: Lipiec 18, 2006, 11:00:25 am »
Unacceptable? Yes, of course! But was it really unthinkable?
At least it looks like Lem didn't believe humans are too good to behave like that.



Terminus

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #36 dnia: Lipiec 18, 2006, 06:14:05 pm »
Sure, obviously that's what the book's title is all about... Sadly.

Ronald_Zajac

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #37 dnia: Lipiec 20, 2006, 05:42:37 pm »
In the English translation, the implication is that those "naked, defenseless warts" Tempe sees on the hillside are the Quintans. After all, if the warts were not living beings, why would Lem describe them as "defenseless"?

The fascinating question arising from this, picked up earlier in this discussion, is whether those "warts" are mobile or stationary beings, and how beings seemingly without limbs could develop such elaborate technology.

As for the destruction of Qunita, I do not take that to be a given. Earlier on in the book, Steergard is hesitant to exercise that option. And just before Tempe's expedition, Steergard tells the Quintans he reserves the right to take out the spaceport area, as well as other unspecified action. That could therefore mean just a local strike.

This seems to me more logical and in keeping with the story. Could you imagine the Hermes returning to the Eurydice with Steergard informing Ter Horab: "Communication was impossible, so we destroyed the planet."

Incidentally, Zlatan, does the Polish edition offer any insight as to how the Quintans are suddenly able to communicate with the Hermes in a way that is translatable into lines of text?

Zlatan

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #38 dnia: Lipiec 23, 2006, 12:49:12 pm »
***********************************************
does the Polish edition offer any insight as to how the Quintans are suddenly able to communicate with the Hermes in a way that is translatable into lines of text?
***********************************************

No, it doesn't! It's exactly what has stunned me too.

tomsak

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #39 dnia: Sierpień 02, 2007, 04:20:14 pm »
As it seems that I cannot start new topic, and Darko Suvin was mentioned here, here's the link to Suvin's major IN MEMORIAM to Lem, published in Studi slavistici (Italy, November 2006), and also in Croatian.

http://www3.unifi.it/fupriv/upload/sub/ss2006/22_Cronache.pdf

Suvin's essay (it's in English) starts on page 21.

Terminus

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #40 dnia: Sierpień 03, 2007, 01:04:10 pm »
Why shouldn't you be able to fire a new topic?
Strange, I say.

The machinery of this forum is such a strange contraption...

wetal

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #41 dnia: Sierpień 17, 2007, 01:39:45 pm »
After Doznanie I didn`t start reading Fiasco.Is it worth reading?

Q

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #42 dnia: Sierpień 21, 2007, 09:32:46 am »
Cytuj
After Doznanie I didn`t start reading Fiasco.Is it worth reading?

Yes. It is one of the best Lem's novels.

Silverado

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #43 dnia: Wrzesień 18, 2007, 08:32:42 am »
from wikipedia:

"Understanding the outcome

It is not possible to understand the conclusion of Lem's Fiasco without prior knowledge of Fred Hoyle's work. The dscovery scenario described at the very end of the novel is exact realization of the same solution/decision which concludes Hoyle-Elliot's "Andromeda Breakthrough", another acclaimed sci-fi novel. (Info from Lem's circle.)

The original, intelligent, mobile biological inhabitants of Quinta consciously transformed themselves in a project, AFTER they developed a technical civilization with a high level of automation and their global politics degraded into an unsolvable, violent global conflict. They became a battery of statically existing, more or less vegetative systems, which are highly resistant to destruction and change - as well as immune to the instincts, which cause all biological civilizations to develop conflicts. The automated industry they had created keeps running and thus, the robotized conflict continues above their heads, while they are vegetating under."

[/b]
.............

If you remember, in the video message sent to the Hermes, there's a scene in which a crowd of *mobile* Quintans enter some kind of vehicle or machine, which then drops beneath a mercury-like field, into the earth, presumably. This is probably the project referred to here..

Seems pretty satisfactory.

so, maybe their civilization is heavily automated with the Quintans themselves involved in a collective meditative huddle with few external stimuli... hence the early attacks are from the automated war-sphere and the Hermes' efforts at communication fall on deaf ears... (if this isn't the case, then the Quintans are either paranoid or insane or otherwise incomprehensible, attacking a more advanced race which looks peaceful is pretty irrational behaviour)

but allow me to speculate -

at what point do the Quintans themselves become aware of the Hermes and the fact that their warsphere has been trying to destroy it? Is there reason to believe that the Quintans EVER become aware of the Hermes? Perhaps the Quintans are truly and completely closed off from external stimuli (but connected amongst themselves), and the Hermes only ever communicates with the automated Quintan technosphere (a notion rejected by DEUS, yes, but DEUS is shown to be fallible)

The auto-technosphere would want to avoid contact at all costs (having no interest in alien races, and its prime directive the protection of the defenseless Quintans), and would try to destroy or at least discourage the Hermes from pursuing contact.

This could explain why the "Quintans" are hostile even after they begin negotiations with the Hermes. The auto-technosphere could reason that by resisting proper contact and suffering minor damage from Herme's reprisals, the Hermes would become fed up and leave... and secret of the Quintans would remain a secret..

The warsphere could even be a defensive system against ETs, rather than the result of a space arms race (in which case the Quintans transformed themselves for some other purpose)..

extremely speculative..  but there are so many variables. Why the hell didn't DEUS figure this out?
« Ostatnia zmiana: Wrzesień 18, 2007, 09:17:31 am wysłana przez Silverado »

Silverado

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #44 dnia: Wrzesień 18, 2007, 09:01:18 am »
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..
« Ostatnia zmiana: Wrzesień 18, 2007, 09:11:04 am wysłana przez Silverado »