Fiasco Summary
Stanisław Lem

Everything you need to understand or teach Fiasco by Stanisław Lem.

  • Fiasco Summary & Study Guide

Fiasco Summary

Considering that Fiasco is Lem's farewell work, it is not surprising to find in it many themes from the various stages of his career. In fact this last novel is a kind of encyclopedic summary of the problems and debates which the writer has conducted over the years on the pages of his fiction and nonfiction. The most prominent among them is the theme of SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), brought into focus by the astronauts' long journey to the distant star system Beta Harpyiae. Much as in his other writings, Lem avoids the facile extremes of describing contact as a meeting of two aggressors bent on wresting scientific secrets from the other, or a handshake across space between cosmic comrades who inhabit different but amicably disposed Utopias. The overriding theme of Fiasco is one of incomprehension and deep incompatibility of concepts, theories and, ultimately, civilizations.

Another forceful...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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