8+ quotes from The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy by Stanisław Lem

Quotes from The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy

Stanisław Lem ·  286 pages

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“The semanticists maintained that everything depends on how you interpret the words “potato,” “is” and “moving.” Since the key here is the operational copula “is,” one must examine “is” rigorously. Whereupon they set to work on an Encyclopedia of Cosmic Semasiology, devoting the first four volumes to a discussion of the operational referents of “is.” The neopositivists maintained that it is not clusters of potatoes one directly perceives, but clusters of sensory impressions. Then, employing symbolic logic, they created terms for “cluster of impressions” and “cluster of potatoes,” devised a special calculus of propositions all in algebraic signs and after using up several seas of ink reached the mathematically precise and absolutely undeniable conclusion that 0=0.”
― Stanisław Lem, quote from The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy


“A world compelled to good alone is as much a shrine to compulsion as a world compelled to evil only.

The Twenty-first Voyage”
― Stanisław Lem, quote from The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy


“Something peculiar is happening to my head. I remember that my father was Barnaby, but I had another named Balaton. Unless that’s a lake in Albania.”
― Stanisław Lem, quote from The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy


“The Universe is picking us off one by one. Yesterday part of the poop deck went, and with it all the toilets.”
― Stanisław Lem, quote from The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy


“Reflexiona en lo que significa la muerte. Es una pérdida, trágica por irreversible. ¿A quién pierde el que muere? ¿A sí mismo? No, porque el muerto ha dejado de existir y quien no existe no puede perder nada. La muerte es asunto de los vivos: es la pérdida de un ser querido.”
― Stanisław Lem, quote from The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy


“La naturaleza se preocupa únicamente por el puñado de células reproductoras de cada individuo, y manda el resto al cuerno.”
― Stanisław Lem, quote from The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy


“Los seres humanos no desean la inmortalidad. Lo que quieren es, sencillamente, no morir. Quieren vivir (…) Quieren sentir la tierra bajo sus pies y ver las nubes por encima de su cabeza, amar a otras personas, estar con ellas y pensar en ellas.”
― Stanisław Lem, quote from The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy


“Son dignos de compasión esos genios abortados, titanes de espíritu enano, mutilados desde el nacimiento por la naturaleza, que, en una de sus bromas siniestras, les impuso a la vez la falta de talento y el empeño de crear digno de un Leonardo; lo que la vida les trae es la indiferencia o la burla, y lo único que se puede hacer por ellos es escucharles con paciencia y fingir que su monomanía nos interesa.”
― Stanisław Lem, quote from The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy


About the author

Stanisław Lem
Born place: in Lviv (formerly Poland), Ukraine
Born date September 12, 1921
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