05 April 2006

Death of a Master

Stanislaw Lem is gone, and for some of us who grew up on his books and looked up to him as a beacon the sense of loss is akin to that experienced with death of one's best friend.

By a brief mention in the Western press as "science fiction author", his achievement is reduced in the press jargon to a second-rate literature genre. Lem was much more than a second-rate author. He was a craftsman of the word, he was a philosopher, he was a teacher to many who have seen in his books more than just a brief thrill. He was one of the very few, in short.

His wry sense of humor, his humanity that above all is the centerpiece of his books, will remain with me as long as I live, as will that so Jewish eternal shadow of a smile on his lips - here is looking at you, the people of Earth.

(I know I am late with this post. Only today I learned that Lem is no more, as well as the fact that he was born Jewish. Which is a honor to our restless clan).