... a monstrous entity endowed with reason, a protoplasmic ocean-brain enveloping the entire planet and idling its time away in extravagant theoretical cognitation [sic] about the nature of the universe.Lem develops the notion of an intelligence so huge and alien that any form of communication with it proves virtually impossible "like wandering about in a library where all the books are in an indecipherable language." But beyond the issue of how a dialogue with extraterrestrial intelligence might be established, Lem explores the motives behind why humans should seek such contact. In the words of one of his characters:
We are seeking only man. We have no need of other worlds... We are seeking for an ideal image of our own world: we go in quest of a planet, of a civilization superior to our won but developed on the basis of a prototype of our primeval past.
The first film version of Solaris, directed Andrei Tarkovsky and released in 1972, is considered a science fiction movie classic. Gregory Benford, professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine, and author of the SF novel Timescape has remarked: "The 1972 Solaris is perhaps the only film to address the limits of science set by our constrained human perceptions, categories, and tendency to anthropomorphise. That it is also a compelling, tragic drama, not a mere illustrated lecture, makes it even more important." Solaris was remade by Steven Soderbergh in 2002.
Related category SCIENCE FICTION
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