Memoirs Found in a Bathtub by Stanislaw Lem

Memoirs Found in a Bathtub

byStanislaw Lem

Kobo ebook | July 18, 2012

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The year is 3149, and a vast paper destroying blight-papyralysis-has obliterated much of the planet's written history. However, these rare memoirs, preserved for centuries in a volcanic rock, record the strange life of a man trapped in a hermetically sealed underground community. Translated by Michael Kandel and Christine Rose.

Title:Memoirs Found in a BathtubFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:July 18, 2012Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0544080084

ISBN - 13:9780544080089

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Wonderful Ride Lem is never to be taken lightly and there is nothing light about the memoirs found in a bathtub. Lem is, however, always immensely rewarding for those willing to take the ride he offers. "Usually, when we find something perfect in ever respect but perfectly meaningless, we laugh. Yet if it's on a sufficiently large scale, we don't . . . Take the sun, for example, its prominences like hair in curlers, or a galaxy with all its wandering garbage -- a grotesque carrousel, isn't it? And the metagalaxy with all that dandruff . . . Really, how can anyone take infinity seriously? Just look at that incredible jumble they call the zodiac! But have you ever seen a lampoon on a sun or a galaxy? Of course you haven't -- we prefer not to make fun of such things. The joke, after all, might very well turn out to be on us . . . So we pretend not to notice the indiscriminate way the universe goes about its business; we say that it is what it is, namely everything, and surely *everything* can't be just a joke. Anything enormous, immense beyond belief or reckoning -- has to be serious. Size, how we worship size! Believe me, if there were a turd big as a mountain, its summit hidden in the clouds, we would bend the knee and do it reverence. So I musn't insist that it was all a joke. You don't want it to be all a joke, do you? The thought that your suffering might be incidental and not intentional, that no one takes an interest in it, not even a sadistic interest, for the simple reason that it concerns not a soul but yourself -- surely that's an unbearable thought. But Mystery offers a way out, a way out of all monstrous absurdities. With Mystery one can at least hope . . . ." from Chapter 12 This is a book about making meaning in a meaningless world, about the impossibility of going it alone, about society as an emergent phenomenon . . . in short, this is a work which faces harsh reality, the large scale meaninglessness, head on, and shows that, in fact, Mystery doesn't really offer hope at all. If only the protagonist had chosen to laugh . . .
Date published: 2010-04-02