Stanislaw Lem’s (1921–2006) science-fiction writing belongs to world literature. His books have been translated into 57 languages, sold 45 million copies and adapted into film many times. Lem’s impressive technological understanding is the foundation that runs through all his work, in which his human protagonists usually come to misfortune because of themselves and their incomprehension of an apparently enigmatic environment. GOLEM XIV, published in 1973 and rewritten in 1981, explores work on artificial intelligence and its unruly reaction to its creators: before the supercomputer GOLEM XIV bids farewell to go to the “zone of silence”, it tries to record a history of humanity’s most important mistakes in the form of three lectures for them. Not without humour, Lem takes a look at some of the main false assumptions in the relationship between humans and nature, evolution and progress, the past and the future.
Eight members of the festival team have agreed to each read an extract from Golem’s lectures to humanity in German and English and to provide the festival with an audio file. The readings will be streamed every morning between 10:00 and 11:00 am on the festival website www.fastforw.art
and will be available until midnight on the 15th of November 2020 in the audio library.
Excerpts from “Golem XIV” from IMAGINARY MAGNITUDE by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Marc E. Heine. English Translation, Copyright © 1984 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Deutsche Rechte Suhrkamp Verlag Berlin