Stanisław Lem

Literary Birthday – 12 September – Stanisław Lem

Stanisław Lem was born 12 September 1921, and died 27 March 2006.

Nine Quotes

  1. Good books tell the truth, even when they’re about things that never have been and never will be. They’re truthful in a different way.
  2. Faith is, at one and the same time, absolutely necessary and altogether impossible.
  3. I never read to kill time. Killing time is like killing someone’s wife or a child. There is nothing more precious for me than time.
  4. The only writers who have any peace are the ones who don’t write. And there are some like that. They wallow in a sea of possibilities. To express a thought, you first have to limit it, and that means kill it. Every word I speak robs me of a thousand others, and every line I write means giving up another.
  5. I see a poem as a multi-coloured strip behind peeling plaster, in separate, shining fragments.
  6. I hadn’t known there were so many idiots in the world until I started using the Internet.
  7. We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don’t know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can’t accept it for what it is.
  8. A writer should not run around with a mirror for his countrymen; he should tell his society and his times things no one ever thought before.
  9. The first requisite for immortality is death.

Stanisław Lem was a Polish writer of science fiction, philosophy and satire. His books have sold over 27 million copies. He is known as the author of Solaris, which has been made into a feature film three times.


Courtesy of Lem’s secretary, Wojciech Zemek. Resize and digital processing by Masur., CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 12th September 2014