Prague Reading Group
Prague Reading Group:
This weeks discussion will be focused on Hospital of Transfigurationby Stanisław Lem.
Although Stanislaw Lem’s first book “Hospital of the Transfiguration” was written in 1948, communist censorship delayed its publication by seven years. Within the confinement of a psychiatric hospital the author managed to stage a drama of one man strangely torn between his mind and body, desperately seeking meaning of life and trying to save his ethical instinct in the face of the new European nihilism attacking both from the outside and from the inside – in the form of a disease of the soul. In this youthful novel lie the roots of the most important of Lem’s science fiction works.
“A phenomenon called Lem did not grow into a writer, but sprang from the head of Zeus like Athena, fully armed; but with a portable Remington instead of a spear.” THE BLOOMSBURY REVIEW
“It’s his first novel and, like the science-fiction works that made him famous, it proves once more that Lem can weave dispassionate observation and tender feeling. The beauty of this book lies in its expository rhythm. Lem carefully develops his characters before he etches them away with the stresses of war, showing them as archetypes of courage, cowardice, perfidy, and love.” VILLAGE VOIC