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LemographyStanislaw Lem in the Eyes of the World$
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Peter Swirski and Waclaw M. Osadnik

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381205

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381205.001.0001

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The Hilarious and Serious Teachings of Lem’s Robot Fables

The Hilarious and Serious Teachings of Lem’s Robot Fables

The Cyberiad

(p.93) 5. The Hilarious and Serious Teachings of Lem’s Robot Fables

Bo Pettersson


This chapter analyzes how Stanislaw Lem combines humour and science in one of his more popular but less studied collections, The Cyberiad. In keeping with the subtitle, Fables for the Cybernetic Age, the stories probe what it means to be human, as opposed to machine, and what sort of evolution the two kind of beings may face together. What makes The Cyberiad so enticing is its rich and seamless fusion of the fairy tale, fantasy (sword but no sorcery), scientific and philosophical discourse, and religious and bureaucratic rhetoric—all in the service of highlighting the abiding follies of our kind and our society.

Keywords:   Stanislaw Lem, The Cyberiad, Fables for the Cybernetic Age, fairy tale, fantasy, humour

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