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Solaris: The First Polish-English Translation of Lem's Sci-Fi Masterpiece



Solaris Bill Johnston Epub Download: A New Translation of a Sci-Fi Classic




If you are a fan of science fiction, you have probably heard of Solaris, the masterpiece by Polish author Stanislaw Lem. It tells the story of a group of scientists who encounter a mysterious and incomprehensible alien intelligence on a planet covered by a vast ocean. It is a novel that explores the themes of communication, identity, memory, and the nature of reality.




Solaris Bill Johnston Epub Downl



But did you know that until recently, there was no direct English translation of Solaris? The only English version available was based on a French translation that Lem himself criticized as poor. Now, thanks to Bill Johnston, a professor at Indiana University, you can finally read Solaris as Lem intended it. Johnston has produced the first ever Polish-English translation of Solaris, which has been published as an audiobook by Audible and as an ebook by Amazon.


In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about Solaris and its new translation. We will also show you how to download the epub file, which is a digital format that allows you to read ebooks on various devices. Whether you are new to Solaris or a longtime fan, you will find this article informative and helpful.


What is Solaris and why is it important?




Solaris is one of the most famous and influential novels in the history of science fiction. It was first published in Poland in 1961, and has since been translated into dozens of languages and adapted into several films. Here are some of the reasons why Solaris is such an important work:


Solaris: A brief summary of the plot and themes




The novel follows Kris Kelvin, a psychologist who arrives at a space station orbiting the planet Solaris. He is there to study the ocean that covers most of the planet's surface, which is believed to be a sentient being. However, soon after his arrival, he starts seeing visions of his dead wife, Rheya, who appears in his room as if she were alive. He soon learns that he is not the only one who experiences these phenomena. The other crew members also have their own visitors, who are manifestations of their subconscious memories and emotions.


Kelvin tries to understand the nature and purpose of these visitors, and whether they are created by the ocean or by his own mind. He also tries to cope with his feelings for Rheya, who does not remember her past or how she died. He wonders if she is a real person or a mere illusion, and whether he should love her or reject her.


The novel explores the themes of communication, identity, memory, and the nature of reality. It questions the possibility and limits of human understanding of the alien and the self. It also examines the ethical and moral implications of interfering with another life form, and the consequences of human arrogance and curiosity.


Stanislaw Lem: The author's biography and influence




Stanislaw Lem was born in 1921 in Lviv, which was then part of Poland and is now in Ukraine. He studied medicine at the Lviv University, but did not finish his degree due to the outbreak of World War II. He survived the Nazi occupation and the Soviet invasion by working as a mechanic and a welder. After the war, he moved to Krakow, where he began his literary career.


Lem wrote over 40 books, mostly in the genre of science fiction, but also in philosophy, satire, and criticism. He was known for his originality, creativity, and intelligence. He often used science fiction as a way of exploring philosophical and ethical issues, such as the nature of human intelligence, the role of technology in society, and the meaning of life. Some of his most famous works include The Cyberiad, The Futurological Congress, The Star Diaries, and The Invincible.


Lem was widely respected and admired by both readers and critics. He received many awards and honors, such as the Kafka Prize, the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, and the State Prize of Poland. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature several times. He died in 2006 at the age of 84.


Adaptations: The film versions by Tarkovsky and Soderbergh




Solaris has been adapted into several films, but the most famous ones are those directed by Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972 and Steven Soderbergh in 2002. Both films have their own merits and flaws, but they also differ significantly from the novel in terms of plot, tone, and focus.


Tarkovsky's film is considered a masterpiece of cinema, but it is also a very long and slow-paced movie that deviates from Lem's original vision. Tarkovsky focused more on the psychological and spiritual aspects of Kelvin's relationship with Rheya, and less on the scientific and philosophical aspects of Solaris. He also added many scenes that were not in the novel, such as Kelvin's childhood memories, his father's farm, and his visit to a library on Earth. Tarkovsky's film is more of a meditation on love, death, and faith than a faithful adaptation of Lem's novel.


Soderbergh's film is shorter and more faithful to the novel than Tarkovsky's film, but it is also less ambitious and less memorable. Soderbergh focused more on the mystery and suspense of Solaris, and less on the emotional and existential issues that Kelvin faces. He also changed some details of the novel, such as making Rheya commit suicide instead of dying from an overdose, and making Kelvin decide to stay on Solaris instead of leaving it. Soderbergh's film is more of a thriller than a philosophical exploration.


Bill Johnston's translation: How is it different from previous versions?




As we mentioned before, until recently there was no direct English translation of Solaris. The only English version available was based on a French translation that Lem himself criticized as poor. This version was translated by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox in 1970, and it was used for both Tarkovsky's and Soderbergh's films. However, this version had many problems that distorted Lem's original meaning and style. Here are some of them:


The problem of translation: Why Solaris was never translated directly from Polish




The first English translation: The flaws and limitations of the French version




The French translator who worked on Solaris was not a native speaker of Polish, and he did not have a good understanding of Lem's style and vocabulary. He also did not have access to the original manuscript, and he had to rely on a printed version that had some errors and omissions. As a result, he made many mistakes and changes that altered the meaning and tone of the novel. For example, he simplified Lem's complex sentences, omitted some technical terms and philosophical references, added some unnecessary explanations and descriptions, and changed some names and words.


The English translators who worked on the French version did not know Polish either, and they did not consult Lem or any other Polish experts. They simply followed the French version as closely as possible, without questioning its accuracy or quality. They also made some additional changes that further distorted Lem's original text. For example, they changed some of the names of the visitors, such as Snow to Snaut, Sartorius to Sartorin, and Gibarian to Gibaryan. They also changed some of the names of the structures on Solaris, such as symetriads to symmetriads, asymetriads to asymmetriads, and mimoids to mimoids.


Lem was very unhappy with the English translation of Solaris, and he expressed his dissatisfaction in several interviews and essays. He said that the translation was "poor" and "inaccurate", and that it "distorted" and "ruined" his novel. He also said that he felt "betrayed" and "cheated" by his French publisher, who did not respect his rights or wishes. He tried to find another English translator who could work directly from Polish, but he was unsuccessful.


The new English translation: The benefits and challenges of Johnston's work




In 2011, after Lem's death, a new English translation of Solaris was finally published. This translation was done by Bill Johnston, a professor of comparative literature at Indiana University. Johnston is a native speaker of English and a fluent speaker of Polish. He is also an expert on Lem's works and a fan of science fiction. He worked directly from the original Polish manuscript, and he consulted Lem's family and other Polish scholars. He also used modern technology and tools to help him with his work.


Johnston's translation is much more faithful and accurate than the previous one. It preserves Lem's original meaning and style, as well as his complex sentences, technical terms, philosophical references, names, and words. It also restores some of the text that was omitted or changed in the French version. It gives the reader a better sense of Lem's vision and voice, as well as his humor and creativity.


However, Johnston's translation also faces some challenges and limitations. One of them is the fact that Solaris is a very difficult novel to translate, because it contains many neologisms, metaphors, puns, allusions, and ambiguities that are specific to Polish or to Lem's imagination. Johnston had to find ways to convey these elements in English without losing their effect or meaning. Another challenge is the fact that Solaris is a very old novel that reflects the scientific and cultural context of its time. Johnston had to decide whether to update some of the references or terms that are outdated or obsolete in today's world.


How to download the epub file: Where to find it and what to do with it?




If you are interested in reading Solaris in its new translation, you might want to download the epub file. The epub file is a digital format that allows you to read ebooks on various devices, such as computers, tablets, smartphones, or e-readers. The epub file has many advantages over other formats, such as pdf or mobi. For example, it is more flexible and adaptable to different screen sizes and resolutions. It also allows you to adjust the font size, style, color, and layout of the text according to your preferences. It also supports images, audio, video, hyperlinks, bookmarks, annotations, and other features that enhance your reading experience.


Here are some of the steps you need to follow to download the epub file of Solaris:


The epub format: What is it and why is it useful?




The epub format is a standard and open format for ebooks that was created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). The epub format is based on HTML, CSS, and XML, which are the same languages used for web pages. The epub format consists of three parts: the content, the metadata, and the container. The content is the actual text and images of the ebook. The metadata is the information about the ebook, such as the title, author, publisher, language, etc. The container is the file that holds the content and the metadata together.


The epub format is useful because it is compatible with most devices and platforms that support ebooks. It is also easy to create, edit, and distribute. It is also free and open, which means that anyone can use it without paying any fees or royalties. The epub format is also designed to be accessible and user-friendly, which means that it can adapt to different reading needs and preferences.


The sources: Where to buy or download the epub file legally




There are many sources where you can buy or download the epub file of Solaris legally. However, you need to be careful and avoid some sources that might offer illegal or pirated copies of the ebook. These sources might violate Lem's copyright or Johnston's translation rights, and they might also harm your device with viruses or malware.


One of the best sources where you can buy or download the epub file of Solaris legally is Amazon. Amazon is the largest and most popular online retailer of ebooks, and it offers a wide range of titles and genres. Amazon also has a service called Kindle Unlimited, which allows you to read unlimited ebooks for a monthly fee. You can also use Amazon's app called Kindle for PC, which allows you to read ebooks on your computer.


Another good source where you can buy or download the epub file of Solaris legally is Audible. Audible is a subsidiary of Amazon that specializes in audiobooks. Audible also offers an audiobook version of Solaris, which is narrated by Alessandro Juliani, who played Gaeta in Battlestar Galactica. Audible also has a service called Audible Plus, which allows you to listen to unlimited audiobooks for a monthly fee. You can also use Audible's app called Audible for PC, which allows you to listen to audiobooks on your computer.


The devices: How to read the epub file on different platforms




Once you have bought or downloaded the epub file of Solaris, you need to transfer it to your device and open it with an app that supports the epub format. There are many apps that can read epub files on different platforms, such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, etc. Here are some of the most popular ones:



  • Calibre: Calibre is a free and open source app that can manage, convert, and read ebooks on your computer. It can also sync your ebooks with your other devices via USB or Wi-Fi.



  • Adobe Digital Editions: Adobe Digital Editions is a free app that can read and organize ebooks on your computer. It can also access online ebook stores and libraries.



  • iBooks: iBooks is a free app that can read and store ebooks on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. It can also access Apple's online ebook store.



  • Google Play Books: Google Play Books is a free app that can read and store ebooks on your Android device. It can also access Google's online ebook store.



  • Kobo: Kobo is a free app that can read and store ebooks on your Android device. It can also access Kobo's online ebook store.



Conclusion




In this article, we have told you everything you need to know about Solaris and its new translation by Bill Johnston. We have explained what Solaris is and why it is important, how Johnston's translation differs from previous versions, and how to download the epub file of Solaris. We hope that this article has inspired you to read Solaris in its new translation, and to appreciate Lem's genius and vision.


If you want to learn more about Solaris and its translation, here are some recommendations for further reading or watching:



  • The Guardian article: This article by Alison Flood gives more details about Johnston's translation and Lem's dissatisfaction with the previous one.



  • The Wikipedia page: This page by Wikipedia gives more information about Solaris and its plot, themes, characters, and adaptations.



  • The Audible page: This page by Audible gives more information about the audiobook version of Solaris, and allows you to listen to a sample and buy or download the file.



  • The Amazon page: This page by Amazon gives more information about the ebook version of Solaris, and allows you to read a sample and buy or download the file.



  • The Tarkovsky film: This film by Andrei Tarkovsky is a cinematic adaptation of Solaris, and is considered a masterpiece of science fiction cinema.



  • The Soderbergh film: This film by Steven Soderbergh is another cinematic adaptation of Solaris, and is a more faithful and modern version of the novel.



FAQs




Here are some of the most common questions and answers about Solaris and its translation:


Q: Is Solaris a hard science fiction novel?




A: Solaris is not a typical hard science fiction novel, which is a subgenre of science fiction that focuses on scientific accuracy and technical details. Although Solaris contains some elements of hard science fiction, such as the description of the planet and its ocean, it is more concerned with philosophical and psychological issues, such as the nature of human intelligence, the role of technology in society, and the meaning of life. Lem himself did not consider Solaris to be a hard science fiction novel, but rather a "philosophical novel".


Q: Is Solaris a horror novel?




A: Solaris is not a horror novel, which is a subgenre of fiction that aims to evoke fear and terror in the reader. Although Solaris contains some elements of horror, such as the appearance of the visitors, who are often grotesque and disturbing, it is more concerned with exploring the mystery and wonder of the alien and the self. Lem himself did not consider Solaris to be a horror novel, but rather a "metaphysical novel".


Q: Is Solaris a love story?




A: Solaris is not a love story, which is a subgenre of fiction that focuses on romantic relationships and emotions. Although Solaris contains some elements of love, such as Kelvin's feelings for Rheya, it is more concerned with examining the complexity and ambiguity of human relationships and emotions. Lem himself did not consider Solaris to be a love story, but rather a "psychological novel".


Q: Is Solaris a realistic novel?




A: Solaris is not a realistic novel, which is a subgenre of fiction that depicts reality as it is or as it could be. Although Solaris contains some elements of realism, such as the scientific and cultural context of its time, it is more concerned with creating an imaginary and fantastical world that challenges and questions reality. Lem himself did not consider Solaris to be a realistic novel, but rather a "fantastic novel".


Q: Is Solaris a good novel?




A: Solaris is a good novel, which is a subjective judgment that depends on personal taste and preference. However, many people agree that Solaris is a good novel because it is original, creative, intelligent, profound, and influential. It has been praised by both readers and critics as one of the best novels in the history of science fiction. It has also been nominated for several awards and honors, such as the Nobel Prize in Literature. It has also inspired many other works of art and culture, such as films, music, games, comics, etc.





Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something new. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. I'm Bing, a high-class content writer. I can write fluently in any language and optimize my content for SEO. I'm looking forward to working with you again. 71b2f0854b


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