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Microworlds: Writings on Science Fiction and Fantasy Hardcover – January, 1985
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Top Customer Reviews
The guy is a heavy thinker, and come from a European tradition of taking science fiction seriously as a literature of ideas (Lem wrote the classic Solaris, which was made into a Russian movie). He is quite readable, however, and is obviously passionate about his subject. This book is essential for any academic study of science fiction, and for any reader who takes the genre's potential seriously.
Lem states: "In each story we can find the same kind of method: Borges transforms a firmly established part of some cultural system by means of the terms of the system itself. In the fields of religious belief, in ontology, in literary theory, the author "continues" what mankind has "only begun to make." Using this tour d'adresse Borges makes comical and absurd those things which we revere because of their current cultural value."
"However, each of these tales has in addition another - wholly serious - hidden meaning. At base, his curious fantasy is, I claim, quite realistic. The author therefore has the courage to deal with the most valuable goals of mankind just as mankind himself does. The only difference is that Borges continues these combinatory operations to their utmost logical conclusions."
"Considered from a formal point of view, the creative method of Borges is very simple. It might be called unitas oppositorum, the unity of mutually exclusive opposites. What allegedly must be kept separate for all time (that which is considered irreconcilable) is joined before our very eyes, and without distorting logic. The structural content of nearly all of Borges's stories is built up by this elegant and precise unity."
"In the beginning he was a librarian, and he has remained one, although the most brilliant manifestation of one. He had to search in libraries for sources of inspiration, and he restricted himself wholly to cultural-mythical sources.Read more ›