Autor Wątek: A Mixed Bag of Questions  (Przeczytany 17218 razy)

Nicolai

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A Mixed Bag of Questions
« dnia: Maj 05, 2008, 04:01:48 pm »
Hi there.

Sorry about the rather pathetic subject heading but I simply wasn't sure what to name it and this was the only thing that came to mind right now (haven't had enough coffee yet  ;)).

First of all, can someone please tell me if there are any forthcoming new editions, reprints, translations etc. of Lem's books (in English)?
My particular reason for asking this question is that I've noticed that especially Star Diaries and Mortal Engines (the paperback) seem to be almost OOP.
I asked The Book Depository (wonderful store) if they would have them back on stock soon.
This is their reply:
Cytuj
I am afraid that we are currently unable to advise as to when new stock will be available. Our stocks are dependent upon those of our suppliers and at present, no information regarding this title is available.
Particularly the last bit caught my attention: '... at present, no information regarding this title is available.'
Darn! (I originally wrote 'D*a*m*n!' (without the *') but apparently for some strange reason it was changed into 'Darn!'  ;D)
Does anyone know the website of Harvest Books and/or Harcourt Publishers (are they part of the same company)?

It seems that Northwestern University Press has taken over the rights to the following titles (and already published them):
A Perfect Vacuum: http://nupress.northwestern.edu/title.cfm?ISBN=0-8101-1733-9
The Chain of Chance: http://nupress.northwestern.edu/title.cfm?ISBN=0-8101-1730-4
His Master's Voice: http://nupress.northwestern.edu/title.cfm?ISBN=0-8101-1731-2
Memoirs of a Space Traveller: http://nupress.northwestern.edu/title.cfm?ISBN=0-8101-1732-0
besides of course having published Peter Swirski's A Stanislaw Lem Reader: http://nupress.northwestern.edu/title.cfm?ISBN=0-8101-1495-X
Therefore I'm wondering if there are any forthcoming releases planned... I'll write and ask them.  ;)

Well, let me just very briefly introduce myself. I am a HUGE admirer of the films of Andrei Tarkovsky. Therefore I was given Lem's Solaris a few years ago but haven't read it yet (too much time, too many excuses). However, upon discovering that it hasn't been translated into English directly from the original text I felt it wouldn't be right for me to read this as my first book by Lem. Therefore I recently purchased The Cyberiad which I'm currently reading. And it's marvellous!  :)

Okay, boring - guess you've heard it all before. Next question.  ;)

Are Daniel Mroz' wonderful drawings by any chance included in the Andre Deutsch Ltd/Harcourt editions of Mortal Engines? I haven't been able to find out as I live in Denmark and therefore can't just waltz into the nearest bookstore and check it out for myself. And the sample pages at amazon.com do not show any of the drawings but of course they might still be included.
So?  :)

And what did Mr Lem think of these drawings?
Can they be purchased as posters anywhere?

Aaaaand-I-was-wondering-if-anyone-can-comment (breathing heavily - short pause) on the translations of Roadside Picnic and Monday Starts on Saturday by the Strugatsky brothers. Have both titles been translated directly from the original Russian text?
(which I have come to understand that Hard to be a God hasn't!!!  >:( ( http://www.complete-review.com/quarterly/vol4/issue4/doubletX.htm#top )
- and, apparently, regarding Prisoners of Power: 'The English translation is based on the censored version of the novel, as the original version was unavailable to the translator.' (wikipedia) And people claim we are living in the 21st century. Hmpf!  >:()

Are the translations of the first two titles (mentioned above) of a high standard? And who translated them?

Okay, that's it. Sorry about the amount of questions. Don't reply unless you REALLY feel like it.  ;)
Any answers - even those that simply add to the confusion of a labouring mind - will be greatly appreciated.

Plenty of more questions to come. Stupid as well as (hopefully) a few good ones. Please be patient and forgive me. I'm just a newbie.  :D
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 05, 2008, 04:23:05 pm wysłana przez Nicolai »

Miesław

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Maj 06, 2008, 06:22:42 pm »
I can't help you with the new editions as I live in Poland (and have luck to read Lem's books in original).

As for Solaris - the book itself is great, but the first English translation by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox are considered very poor (and they translated it from French).
The Cyberiad is a real masterpiece and (as I read) so is Kandel's translation.

Lem met Mroz when they both were working for "Przekroj" magazine. Wojciech Orliński in his book about Lem (which was printed only in Poland) wrote (my translation): he liked his art and his way of interpreting novels so much that he made him someone like the official illustrator.

I'm unable to answer the rest of your questions, but maybe other users will do it. Anyway, feel free to ask.

Nicolai

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Maj 09, 2008, 01:45:31 pm »
I can't help you with the new editions as I live in Poland (and have luck to read Lem's books in original).
I really envy you... and I wish I could take part in the discussions at the Polish version of this forum... seems there's a lot more activity.  ;)

As for Solaris - the book itself is great, but the first English translation by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox are considered very poor (and they translated it from French).
Yeah, I know. It's terribly sad... I seriously hope someone will do something about it soon...
I wonder if Kandel would be up for it.

Lem met Mroz when they both were working for "Przekroj" magazine. Wojciech Orliński in his book about Lem (which was printed only in Poland) wrote (my translation): he liked his art and his way of interpreting novels so much that he made him someone like the official illustrator.

I'm unable to answer the rest of your questions, but maybe other users will do it. Anyway, feel free to ask.
Thanks Mieslaw! How many of Lem's books did Mroz illustrate? Any other than The Cyberiad and Mortal Engines?

Cheers,
Nicolai

Miesław

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Maj 09, 2008, 09:39:15 pm »
I really envy you... and I wish I could take part in the discussions at the Polish version of this forum... seems there's a lot more activity.  ;)
There is, indeed... but I'll learn you to a secret: a large part of the discussions has a very loose connection with Lem's books (however, they are still very interesting).

Cytuj
As for Solaris - the book itself is great, but the first English translation by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox are considered very poor (and they translated it from French).
Yeah, I know. It's terribly sad... I seriously hope someone will do something about it soon...
I wonder if Kandel would be up for it.
So nobody has repaired it? Sad.

Cytuj
Thanks Mieslaw! How many of Lem's books did Mroz illustrate? Any other than The Cyberiad and Mortal Engines?
That's a good question. I looked here and there and found out that only these two (which makes Orlinski's statement not very precise). The website, which this forum belongs to, contains Daniel Mroz's Gallery, where we can read: Daniel Mroz, a famous Polish artist, illustrated Stanislaw Lem's 'The Cyberiad' and 'Mortal Engines'.

Nicolai

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #4 dnia: Maj 12, 2008, 07:29:54 pm »
I really envy you... and I wish I could take part in the discussions at the Polish version of this forum... seems there's a lot more activity.  ;)
There is, indeed... but I'll learn you to a secret: a large part of the discussions has a very loose connection with Lem's books (however, they are still very interesting).
I bet they are.  ;)

Cytuj
Thanks Mieslaw! How many of Lem's books did Mroz illustrate? Any other than The Cyberiad and Mortal Engines?
That's a good question. I looked here and there and found out that only these two (which makes Orlinski's statement not very precise). The website, which this forum belongs to, contains Daniel Mroz's Gallery, where we can read: Daniel Mroz, a famous Polish artist, illustrated Stanislaw Lem's 'The Cyberiad' and 'Mortal Engines'.
Yeah I read that too. Thanks for all the info Mieslaw - not to mention that you replied to my first post!

By the way, for anyone interested this is the response I got from the Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Northwestern University Press:
Cytuj
Dear Nicolai,

As of now we have no plans to publish more titles from Lem, but it is good to hear there are interested readers out there, especially with Lem's books growing scarcer. I will pass along your note to the acquisitions editors, for certain.

Best,
Drew Dir
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 12, 2008, 07:35:11 pm wysłana przez Nicolai »

Nicolai

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: Lipiec 18, 2008, 08:16:48 pm »
Are Daniel Mroz' wonderful drawings by any chance included in the Andre Deutsch Ltd/Harcourt editions of Mortal Engines? I haven't been able to find out as I live in Denmark and therefore can't just waltz into the nearest bookstore and check it out for myself. And the sample pages at amazon.com do not show any of the drawings but of course they might still be included.
So?  :)
Since no one has bothered to answer my question I'll do it myself:
They aren't included.  :'(

Nicolai

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #6 dnia: Lipiec 19, 2008, 06:37:35 pm »
Hi Cetarian.

Maybe you have not received any more answers because the nature of your problem is not clear?
Or maybe you haven't read my previous post properly.
I was referring to a specific question regarding the drawings - not the one you have chosen to comment on.

Amazon.com has in stock both Star Diaries (two parts) and Mortal Engines you initially asked about.
Plus about two dozen other books by Lem.
I know that. And I have purchased the books from elsewhere.

Why bother with writing to the publishing houses?
Because I was curious and needed some information. Why not?

Cheers
- Nicolai

Freca

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #7 dnia: Czerwiec 05, 2009, 05:12:31 am »
Just a remark.
The Hungarian translations of Lem's books are excellent. Very good indeed.

The only thing I am not satisfied with is the article about Lem in the Hungarian version of Wikipedia.
He'd deserve a much better article.

Freca

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #8 dnia: Czerwiec 05, 2009, 05:19:37 am »
A question.

I read Lem criticized the Internet.
What was the essence of his criticism? What did he say?

Evangelos

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #9 dnia: Czerwiec 05, 2009, 03:01:43 pm »
From my perspective and understanding of his criticism it seems that he didn't criticise the tool itself as much as what it has become in humans' hands. The WWW is a brilliant tool of cognition and can be used to gather information which can be accessed by anybody from anywhere in the world. However, it has been absolutely trashed and not only digging out the relevant information has become difficult (at least from his perspective, as you probably know although Lem had a vast knowledge about science, he was not very IT prolific himself and didn't have detailed knowledge about various search engines and applications, so IT specialists might find his comments misleading or even incompetent), but the web is often used to share pornography, not knowledge and stupidity, not wisdom.

Dragon of Improbability

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #10 dnia: Czerwiec 10, 2009, 01:26:05 am »
The internet could use more inspired and informative web sites on giant squid, in my view. That's another mystery of natural science which hasn't been totally understood, even though it's been seen alive only two times this century.

Dragon of Improbability

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #11 dnia: Czerwiec 10, 2009, 01:33:20 am »
For some reason, none of the English publishers, nor even Michael Kandel himself, don't want to do another straight translation of Stanislaw Lem's books. It's a real shame, since I would have preferred to have Michael Kandel translate SOLARIS (he knows how to translate a book directly from Polish) then to read the double-translation from the French version (what were were translators thinking?!). I think that Lem's books are a high brow example of what science-fiction in America SHOULD try to follow, but there's no motivation here.

skrzat

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The new SOLARIS translation
« Odpowiedź #12 dnia: Czerwiec 17, 2009, 03:07:36 pm »
A new translation of Lem's books into English is a somewhat tricky business, as it involves author's rights (specifically: what rights Lem gave away upon signing the first agreement with a British/US publisher).

An unattainable ideal would be to have all Lem's books translated by Mr. Michael Kandel. Currently we are trying to convince him to translate Solaris directly from the Polish original.

Dragon of Improbability

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #13 dnia: Czerwiec 18, 2009, 03:18:14 am »
You've been trying to enlist the services of Kandel?! How successful have been your attempts so far? I would definitely love to see him translate the book, but meanwhile, the only way I can read the book as it is would be to borrow the original Polish edition from my college's neighbor, and try to translate it myself, though I remember when Kandel first tried to translate Lem for a Polish class, he encountered a word that was not in the Polish dictionary, but was a word that Lem either created or borrowed the word from other languages from the textbooks he read. I wish that Kandel would translate EDEN, because even though it is not as sophisticated as his future works, the essential idea of the world's organic mysteries and the alien race's anthropological ambiguities would be better appreciated in a much more masterful translation (unless there are complications in attempting so). We could also use more illustrated Lem books.

Larissa

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Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« Odpowiedź #14 dnia: Lipiec 04, 2009, 02:17:41 am »
Hi Nicolai,

Glad to hear you ask about the Strugatsky brothers, I am a big fan (and they are way way out of print in the US, maybe w exception of Roadside Picnic). There's a scholar named Yvonne Howell in Virginia who wrote a useful book called Apocalyptic Realism, one of the only books in Engl about them. She may know details about translations; is very friendly to random people who contact her about Russian & E European fantastical literature (she told me to read War with the Newts by Capek which is unbelievably wonderful and hilarious, especially for fans of the "Futurological Congress" Lem.

And, I am very stupid but could not figure out how to post a new question, so I'll ask it here for anyone reading this: Where were Lem's drawings on the Lem site first seen (were they illustrations? in which editions?), and where are they physically located now? The reproductions appear to be photographs of sketches, not reproductions of published drawings. Thanks to everyone!

Larissa