The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy


The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy [PDF / Epub] ★ The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy Author Stanisław Lem – Thomashillier.co.uk Bringing his twin gifts of scientific speculation and scathing satire to bear on that hapless planet, Earth, Lem sends his unlucky cosmonaut, Ijon Tichy, to the Eighth Futurological Congress Caught up Bringing his twin gifts of scientific speculation Congress: From MOBI õ and scathing satire to bear on that hapless planet, Earth, Lem sends his unlucky cosmonaut, Ijon Tichy, to the Eighth Futurological Congress Caught up in local revolution, Tichy is shot and so critically wounded that he is flashfrozen to await a future cure Translated by Michael Kandel.

  • Paperback
  • 149 pages
  • The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy
  • Stanisław Lem
  • English
  • 09 March 2018
  • 0156340402

About the Author: Stanisław Lem

Stanis aw Lem sta iswaf l m Congress: From MOBI õ was a Polish science fiction, philosophical and satirical writer of Jewish descent His books have been translated into languages and have sold over million copies He is perhaps best known as the author of Solaris, which has twice been made into a feature film In , Theodore Sturgeon claimed that Lem was the most widely read science fiction writer in the worldHis works explore philosophical themes speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of The Futurological ePUB ½ mutual communication and understanding, despair about human limitations and humankind s place in the universe They are sometimes presented as fiction, but others are in the form of essays or philosophical books Translations of his works are difficult and multiple translated versions of his works existLem became truly productive after , when the de Stalinization period led to the Polish October , when Poland experienced an increase in freedom of speech Between and , Lem authored books His works were widely translated abroad although Futurological Congress: From Kindle ´ mostly in the Eastern Bloc countries In he published his first non fiction, philosophical book, Dialogi Dialogues , one of his two most famous philosophical texts along with Summa Technologiae The Summa is notable for being a unique analysis of prospective social, cybernetic, and biological advances In this work, Lem discusses philosophical implications of technologies that were completely in the realm of science fiction then, but are gaining importance today like, for instance, virtual reality and nanotechnology Over the next few decades, he published many books, both science fiction and philosophical futurological, although from the s onwards he tended to concentrate on philosophical texts and essaysHe gained international fame for The Cyberiad, a series of humorous short stories from a mechanical universe ruled by robots, first published in English in His best known novels include Solaris , His Master s Voice G os pana, , and the late Fiasco Fiasko, , expressing most strongly his major theme of the futility of mankind s attempts to comprehend the truly alien Solaris was made into a film in by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky and won a Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in in , Steven Soderbergh directed a Hollywood remake starring George ClooneyHe was the cousin of poet Marian Hemar.



10 thoughts on “The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy

  1. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    Books are no longer read but eaten, not made of paper but of some informational substance, fully digestible, sugar coated A few grams of dantine, for instance, and a man goes around with the deep conviction that he has written The Divine Comedy Stanislaw Lem, The Futurological CongressA short novel narrated by cosmonaut Ijon Tichy, a kind of futuristic Alexis de Tocqueville who shares his travel report and diary beginning at a convention of world futurologists held at a space age hotel in Co Books are no longer read but eaten, not made of paper but of some informational substance, fully digestible, sugar coated A few grams of dantine, for instance, and a man goes around with the deep conviction that he has written The Divine Comedy Stanislaw Lem, The Futurological CongressA short novel narrated by cosmonaut Ijon Tichy, a kind of futuristic Alexis de Tocqueville who shares his travel report and diary beginning at a convention of world futurologists held at a space age hotel in Costa Rica where he has a room one hundred floors above the street Tichy is as clearheaded as Thomas Jefferson or Isaac Newton, a well educated gentleman with an impeccable moral sense Too bad Tichy isn t living in the eighteenth century age of reason rather than the twenty first century of the future where the entire world has gone mad on mass ingestion of every variety and kind of weird pills to alter mood and even weirder chemicals to twist, bend, rotate and transform the mind This was my very first Stanislaw Lem and it certainly will not be my last Did the author coat the corners of the book s pages with hallucinogens for me to lick Sometimes, as I turned the pages, I thought such a practice would have been most appropriate In a similar spirit, below are a batch of psychic hits, eight strobe light flashes, of what a reader will encounter with Lem s spectacular, speculative loop the loop Kill the Pope At a hotel bar, one where an all girl orchestra plays Bach while performing striptease to the rhythm of baroque music, a burly, bearded bloke sticks his double barreled rifle under cosmonaut Tichy s nose and asks how he likes his papalshooter Big Beard then goes on to explain how he is flying to Rome to shoot the Pope, what he terms Operation P in the spirit of Abraham and Isaac in reverse rather than father killing son, he s son who will kill father And, turns out, this guy is a devout and loyal Catholic The sole reference to religion in the novel Thank the Lord with devotion like this, who needs fanatics Future Writers The hotel is also hosting a banquet for Liberated Literature, where loudspeakers play Now to make it in the arts, publicize your private parts Critics say you can t offend em with your phallus or pudendum And later on Tichy bumps into Harvy Simsworth, a writer who turns fairy tales and classic literature into hardcore porno Ali Baba and the Forty Perverts, King Leer, what Snow White really did with the seven dwarfs, what Jack really did with Jill Just in case anybody thinks our current day degenerate literature couldn t get anydebased and debauched Something in the Water Back in his hotel room Tichy s good mood begins to soar higher and higher by the minute Even though he cracks his head on the furniture, the lights go out and he can t get the telephone to work, Ijon Tichy considers his hotel room one of the nicest in the world He could hug, caress and kiss his worst enemies But when he laughs with uncontrollable hilarity with how the butter might splutter and make the flame gutter, Ijon senses something is amiss Ah, of course The glass of water he drank from the bathroom tap Our rational cosmonaut is given his first glimpse how those in power will attempt to manipulate and control the population mind altering chemicals Japanese Proposal The futureologists are treated to Hayakawa s plan for the house of the future eight hundred levels complete with schools, shops, theaters, museums, sports fields, special gymnasiums for group sex, catacombs for nonconformists, rotating apartments to alleviate boredom, recycled food such as artificial bananas, gingerbread and shrimp made from, well, I ll spare you Hayakawa s detail Oh, my goodness, living in housing like this if you call this living , no wonder people eagerly reach for mind expanding, feel good drugs I think I d do the same Kaboom A number of spectators in the upper seats listening to Hayakawa s grand scheme evidently had a similar reaction someone hurled a Molotov cocktail into the hall Levelheaded Tichy flees to safety and reads the local newspaper the following day I was amazed to find articles full of saccharine platitudes on the theme of the tender bonds of love as the surest guarantee of universal peace right beside articles that were full of dire threats, articles promising bloody repression or else an equally bloody insurrection Our cosmonaut reasons that some journalists have been drinking the water and some not Pandemonium The violence escalates beyond the hotel The government acts quickly, dropping LTN bombs on the undesirables The results are not as anticipated LTN stands for Love Thy Neighbor and some of the bombs hit their own riot police Ijon Tichy witnesses Before my eyes policemen tore the masks from their faces and, shedding copious tears of remorse, fell to their knees and begged the demonstrators for forgiveness, pushing the billy clubs into their hands with fervent pleas to be severely beaten Escape All hell breaks loose and Ijon and several other futurologists seek refuge down in the city s sewer system Among the many things they encounter are enormous sleek rats walking in single file on their hind legs Ijon pinches himself, wondering if he is hallucinating Nope all of what he is experiencing is as real as real Well, maybe Utopia Dystopia After a sequence of rescues from the city sewer system and the rats, after surgery and having been kept in deep freeze for years, Ijon is defrosted and wakes up in 2038 Ah, he can experience for himself humankind s future New York City Ijon quickly discovers chemicals to induce artificial worlds psychems are all the rage, how the city kids and teenagers are so considerate and sweet that s certainly a switch , the weather is determined by vote, and how a plethora of words and expressions are new, new, new, new threever, pingle, hemale, placize, cobnoddling, snthy and dozensIf you enjoy language and wordplay, you will LOVE this Stanislaw Lem novel On second thought, I think I ll do a reread and lick the pages now and then I d advise you do the same Thanks to Goodreads friend Manny Rayner for bring this stunning classic of science fiction to my attention Stanislaw Lem 1921 2006 , Polish author of satirical essays and science fiction, a writer with boundless imagination, laser sharp mind, lively sense of humor and an uncanny ability to play chess, volleyball, Russian roulette and hundreds of other games with language

  2. Manny Manny says:

    Stanislaw Lem outdoes Philip K Dick on the latter s home territory If reading this doesn t make you doubt the solidity of the world for at least a moment or two, you are an enviably secure person I m afraid I still feel apprehensive any time I notice I m inexplicably out of breath after taking an elevator Luckily that doesn t happen very often.

  3. MJ Nicholls MJ Nicholls says:

    A frenetic, benzedrinical helter skelter masterwork of neological loopiness and warp nine schizomania, served in a tureen of insane, prophetic, and batshit prose that maintains a neck snapping pace of breathless imaginative dizziness across 129 faultless pages.

  4. H.M. Ada H.M. Ada says:

    Ok, so I don t want to give too much away here This short book, almost a novella really, takes you on quite a ride, and I really enjoyed not knowing where it was going, so I m not going to say too much about the plot But basically it starts in one dystopian future, where the main character is at a convention about solving the world s many serious problems, and then it takes you to another, where all of those problems have been solved by technology and pharmacology in particular This is refe Ok, so I don t want to give too much away here This short book, almost a novella really, takes you on quite a ride, and I really enjoyed not knowing where it was going, so I m not going to say too much about the plot But basically it starts in one dystopian future, where the main character is at a convention about solving the world s many serious problems, and then it takes you to another, where all of those problems have been solved by technology and pharmacology in particular This is referred to as a psycho chemical society or chemocracy, and the science has advanced so much that cheap and readily available drugs can be used to bring about any desired mental state Specific dreams can be ordered and received in pill form, books are no longer read but consumed, and drugs can even be taken to make onemoral, compassionate, or understanding A caveman would also resist a streetcar And that s all I want to say about the plot But what follows are some really cool twists and turns and some matrix style what is reality, where is technology taking us philosophy, as well as some psychology, sarcastic humor, dystopian conflict, and just a little bit of politics Averroes, Kant, Socrates, Newton, Voltaire, could any of them have believed it possible that in the twentieth century the scourge of cities, the poisoner of lungs, the mass murderer and idol of millions would be a metal receptacle on wheels, and that people would actually prefer being crushed to death inside it during frantic weekend exoduses instead of staying, safe and sound, at home I enjoyed this It was a fun, easy read that dealt with some serious topics and made me think I m always amazed too when I read a book that s been around for a while this was first published in 1971 , and I realize how many newer ideas that I thought were so original have been contemplated by great thinkers before Definitely going to check outfrom this author

  5. Kasia Kasia says:

    Now to make it in the arts, publicize your private parts Critics say you can t offend emwith your phallus or pudendum That s the translation, the original version Tylko g upiec i kanalialekcewa y genitalia, bo najbardziej jest dzi modnereklamowa cz ci rodne Do you like it I find it hilarious, in both languages, and it s roughly the same WTF You ask Well, it s a slogan Lem made up for the use of this book, and I think it shows a little something about this guy But don t be mistaken, Now to make it in the arts, publicize your private parts Critics say you can t offend emwith your phallus or pudendum That s the translation, the original version Tylko g upiec i kanalialekcewa y genitalia, bo najbardziej jest dzi modnereklamowa cz ci rodne Do you like it I find it hilarious, in both languages, and it s roughly the same WTF You ask Well, it s a slogan Lem made up for the use of this book, and I think it shows a little something about this guy But don t be mistaken, there isn t much about genitals in this book, Lem s rather prudish and he used this limerick quatrain to point out how obsessed the modern day pop culture is with sexuality What can be done, Mr.Lem Really As for the rest of the book, it s so whacked up and schizoid that I m starting to think Lem must have dropped some acid before he sat down to write Most of it requires higher brain function to process It s the damn made up terminology Shitloads of new vocab It s all clever and intuitive the way the road signs are intuitive , also amusing But there s so much of it, it can cause you a headache For once, I m glad I ve read it in Polish, let s face it, I m still waycomfortable with that language To give you a taste, I ll share some of the headache Before you dig in, it helps to know that The Futurological Congress is a dystopian novel about so called cryptochemocracy 12 VIII 2039 I finally got up the courage to ask some pedestrians where I might find a bookstore They shrugged As a pair I had accosted walked off, I heard one say to the other, That s a grandfather stiff for you Could it be that there is prejudice here against defrostees Some other unfamiliar expressions I ve come across threever, pingle, he male, to widge off, palacize, cobnoddling, synthy The newspapers advertise such products as tishets, vanilli ums, nurches, autofrotts manual The title of a column in the city edition of the Herald I Was a Demimother Something about an eggman who was yoked on the way to the eggplant The big Webster isn t too helpful Demimother like demigran, demijohn One of two women jointly bringing a child into the world See Polyanna, Polyandrew. Eggman from mailman Archaic A euplanner who delivers licensed human gametes female to the home I don t pretend to understand that This crazy dictionary also gives synonyms that are equally incomprehensible Threever trimorph Palacize, bepalacize, empalacize to castellate, as on a quiz show Paladyne a chivalric assuagement Vanillium extract emphorium, portable The worst are words which look the same but have acquired entirely different meanings Expectorant a conception aid Pederast artificial foot faddist Compensation mind fusion Simulant something that doesn t exist but pretends to Not to be confused with simulator, a robot simulacrum Revivalist a corpse, such as a murder victim, brought back to life See also exhumant, disintermagent, jack in the grave Apparently it s nothing nowadays to raise the dead And the people just about everyone panting Panting in the elevator, in the street, everywhere They appear to be in the best of health, rosy cheeked, cheerful, sun tanned, and yet they puff I don t So evidently one doesn t have to A custom, or what I asked Aileen She laughed at me nothing of the kind Could I be imagining it If you think it s any less confusing in original, it s not So yeah, this might not be best Lem book Certainly not one you should start with if you haven t read anything of him But do try him out one day He s usually not this high Now with you re permission, I m gonna go and lie down and try to cure my impending headache with a cocktail of Hedonidol, Euphoril, Empathan, Ecstasine and Placidol That should help There s no need for LTN bombs LTN Love Thy Neighbor , I love thee already, and Lem too

  6. Bill Kerwin Bill Kerwin says:

    This outrageous and satisfying adventure of star voyager Ijon Tichy, Stanislaw Lem s galactic Gulliver, is not strictly part of The Star Diaries at all, for it shows us our hero Tichy in a terrestrial setting for a change in Nounas, Costa Rica, to be precise, where he is an attendee of the Eighth World Futurological Congress This annual academic convention which takes place in a hundred story luxury hotel, divorced from the teeming country below that boasts the highest rate of demographic gro This outrageous and satisfying adventure of star voyager Ijon Tichy, Stanislaw Lem s galactic Gulliver, is not strictly part of The Star Diaries at all, for it shows us our hero Tichy in a terrestrial setting for a change in Nounas, Costa Rica, to be precise, where he is an attendee of the Eighth World Futurological Congress This annual academic convention which takes place in a hundred story luxury hotel, divorced from the teeming country below that boasts the highest rate of demographic growth in the world seeks solutions to the increasing problems of an overcrowded, overpopulated civilization Lem paints a satiric picture of the academics fecklessness, self absorbed men, with nothing but fantastical and improbable solution and revels in the chaotic diversity of the conventioneers futurologist of course, aging student protestors, matchbook collectors, and, most diverting of all, the professional pornographers It all seems like good harmless fun, until local terrorists put something in the water Soon Tichy and the reader embarks on a journey both inward and outward in which it is difficult to separate the hallucinatory from the sociological, the surrealist fantasy from the satirical insight It would be unfair to give too much of the plot away, but let s just say that Lem anticipates The Matrix by at least a generation and, when he does, he refuses to hold anything back.This is a classic, seminal science fiction novel And it s short too Everybody who cares about the genre and our world should read it

  7. David Katzman David Katzman says:

    Brilliant Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant Written in 1975, in Polish, The Futurological Congress is easily as relevant today as then The story consists of two parts One set in a near future and then one in adistant future, hypothetically 2039.Part one is the most absurd satire of academia, U.S third world relations, and those trend predictors of the future Part two imagines a future that is the xtreme sports version of Brave New World And told with the most experimental lingui Brilliant Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant Written in 1975, in Polish, The Futurological Congress is easily as relevant today as then The story consists of two parts One set in a near future and then one in adistant future, hypothetically 2039.Part one is the most absurd satire of academia, U.S third world relations, and those trend predictors of the future Part two imagines a future that is the xtreme sports version of Brave New World And told with the most experimental linguistic acrobatics.This book is an amazing feat, really Blending absurd comedy with tragedy Experimentalism with humanism It s disjointed yet perfectly whole His take on Brave New World on steriods essentially predicted virtual reality through drugs I was astounded and amazed by it A short novel, you can eat it up in just a day or two Please go buy it It was written by a mad, profound genius Plus, it s weird af A must read

  8. Jesse Campagna Jesse Campagna says:

    Maybe the most mind bending, and pain inducing books I ve ever read Also the most eye openning and refreshing The book that both made me want to die and gave me reason to live.

  9. Chris Kelly Chris Kelly says:

    I can t remember which science fiction author made a statement that suggested that, while outer space offers a great deal of potential subject matter, it does not come close to the realm of inner space in terms of room for exploration Lem has certainly taken that idea to heart with this short but powerful book.The Futurological Congress is a first person account through the eyes of a recurring Lem character by the name of Ijon Tichy The story begins in Costa Rica where a group of academics I can t remember which science fiction author made a statement that suggested that, while outer space offers a great deal of potential subject matter, it does not come close to the realm of inner space in terms of room for exploration Lem has certainly taken that idea to heart with this short but powerful book.The Futurological Congress is a first person account through the eyes of a recurring Lem character by the name of Ijon Tichy The story begins in Costa Rica where a group of academics are meeting to discuss a number of issues that threaten the future of the world, including disarmament and overpopulation both huge issues in 1971 when the book was published On the first day of the congress, we meet a number of interesting characters including a Roman Catholic revolutionary who has plans of assassinating the Pope to achieve an eternal martyrdom in Hell and we are introduced to a society divided perilously between extreme poverty and technologically produced luxury By the end of the day, the revolutionary spirit that is alluded to early in the story, gives way to a full scale revolt resulting in a government crackdown in which the authorities inundate the population with mind altering substances called, benignimizers a hallucinogenic that forces those under its influence to become impervious to their own violent impulses and to take on a disposition of extreme self effacement In the ensuing fray, Tichy is mortally wounded but with the aid of the latest technology he is placed in a cryogenic state that allows him to survive Upon waking in the year 2039, he finds himself in a world radically changed, though one of a future that is a logical outgrowth of Tichy s time The world has become a utopian fantasy in which psychemic psyche affecting chemical substances form the central feature of civilization Everything from education to nutrition is accomplished by way of pharmaceutical drugs, and society has become a peaceful land of plenty But underlying this, Tichy soon discovers, is a dark secret that permeates the belly of this seemingly benign beast.Make no mistake, this book is not an action packed page turner If you are looking for an adventurous and suspenseful tale with lots of action, then The Futurological Congress is probably not for you This is not to say that the book lacks story or intrigue, but these elements are subsumed inside of an appropriately absurd satire that is heavily mired in philosophical speculations, endless lists of imaginary substances and their effects, and cerebral observations of the future society on the part of the narrator It is also an extremely funny book, in a very dark and ironic way Much of its humor is simply a reflection of many of our cultural and social practices taken to their extremes in such a way as to highlight some of the very insane aspects of the modern world that pass for normal.It interesting to read this 1971 book in a modern context, to see how part of the cautionary aspect of the tale its fear of a future pharmocracy has actually come to pass in many ways Our development of pharmaceutical substances to cure just about every ailment real or imagined may not have been apparent when The Futurological Congress was published But in a world of weight loss pills and where new drugs are being developed for disorders that simply did not exist forty years ago its diagnosis, if extreme, is not totally off track Further the sixties culture of mind altering substances is lampooned and we see parodies of the tune in, turn on, and drop out ethos that guided much of the era s subculture.One must also recognize that Lem was a Polish author, writing under the strict censorship of the communist regime of the time His criticisms of society are two fold The setting of the utopian dystopian future is New York City, one of the cultural and economic centers of the western imperialism and the novel is clearly aimed at what must have seemed like a disintegrating society at the time The mind altering substances that permeate this book stand in well for those of western youth culture of the late 60 s and early 70 s This obviously presented little problem for the powers that be But it is clear that his attacks are not meant strictly for the enemy other The presentation of utopian perfection is made with a sense of irony that is usually subtle but at times very cutting The socialist worker s paradise promised by the communist regimes of eastern Europe can be seen in Lem s happy pills, often taken in the form of candy Underneath it all, however, there are cracks as the reader will see, and as the eastern bloc regimes would learn a few decades hence.At times the Futurological Congress was overly dense and difficult to read, particularly right before bedtime, but I will certainly revisit this book in the future There is so much depth and texture to the prose, for which translator Michael Kandel deserves some credit The multi layered ideas packed into these 149 pages have kept me reflecting on the concepts and images that Lem fed this work so eloquently and cleverly 4.5 Stars Grade A

  10. Ethan Ethan says:

    The Futurological Congress is one of the best sci fi books I ve ever read It s also one of theinteresting books I ve read this year in terms of both its structure and plot In terms of structure, the book opens with non stop action and excitement, every single page, and this doesn t stop until about 70 pages in Then it s a really slow burn for about 50 60 pages, and then it picks up again and drops an absolutely fantastic, mind blowing ending I find books tend to be consistent in pace f The Futurological Congress is one of the best sci fi books I ve ever read It s also one of theinteresting books I ve read this year in terms of both its structure and plot In terms of structure, the book opens with non stop action and excitement, every single page, and this doesn t stop until about 70 pages in Then it s a really slow burn for about 50 60 pages, and then it picks up again and drops an absolutely fantastic, mind blowing ending I find books tend to be consistent in pace for the most part either the whole book is mostly slow or the whole book is mostly exciting This one mixed the two, to almost disorienting effect, and I found that very interesting.My only other experience with Stanislaw Lem wasn t a very positive one Solaris I found that book to be incredibly boring, and so in that 50 or so page section I mentioned around the middle of the book I was thinking, Oh boy, here we go again But the endingthan made up for that section, and when I look back I find that section actually added a lot to the overall story and to the picture he was trying to create of the future on Earth.The story follows Ijon Tichy as he and his fellow scientists take part in the Eighth World Futurological Congress in Costa Rica Things go horribly wrong, setting off a crazy series of events The book focuses largely on a dystopian future where people take drugs for everything in what is known as a psychem culture Every single thing human beings can do or feel can be controlled by drugs You can even take a drug that will cause you to see a physical object, like a chair, and thus reality itself can be altered and controlled by drugs This book reminded me a lot of the best works of Philip K Dick, where reality is veiled and bent, and the reader himself begins to question, in the context of the book of course, what is real and what isn t.The book is very satirical, and the atmosphere and plot largely feel ridiculous and silly At times it can be laugh out loud hilarious and at others serious and deeply reflective, but for the majority of the time it s a very fun book It s a lotfun than Solaris, and honestly after reading this it s hard to believe the two books were written by the same man If you re looking to read some light, fun sci fi to get you out of your reading funk as I was , or if you enjoy the works of Philip K Dick, this book is for you Highly recommended

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