Solaris Background

Solaris Background

Solaris was first published in Warsaw, Poland in 1961 and was later translated from Polish into French and finally into English in 1970. This unique science fiction novel was written by Stanislaw Lem.

The protagonist Kris Kelvin is a psychologist who lives in the space station that is used to investigate the planet Solaris, which is nearly completely covered with an intriguing and alien ocean. The planet is unusually intelligent, and every scientist on board the space station has to confront each of their secret guilts that the planet somehow creates. For example, Kelvin meets a form of his ex-wife who committed suicide on Earth.

While the scientists study Solaris, Solaris actually studies the scientists. The scientists narrate their discoveries and predictions about Solaris and its properties and reveal that they understand absolutely nothing.

The narrative of Solaris achieves no definitive point, but explores the themes of memories and experiences affecting human life; Lem's novel also investigates the impossibility of communication with non-humans, showing how futile it is to try to escape.

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