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Trurl’s Machine Essay Sample

Trurl’s Machine Pages
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Stanisław Lem 12 September 1921 – 27 March 2006) was a Polish writer of science fiction, philosophy and satire. His books have been translated into 41 languages and have sold over 27 million copies. He is known as the author of the 1961 novel Solaris which has been made into a feature film three times. In 1976 Theodore Sturgeon said that Lem was the most widely read science fiction writer in the world. In 1996, Lem was the recipient of the prestigious Polish national award, the Order of the White Eagle. His works explore philosophical themes; speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of mutualcommunication and understanding, despair about human limitations and mankind’s place in the universe. They are sometimes presented as fiction, but others are in the form of essays or philosophical books. Translations of his works are difficult due to passages with elaborate word formation, alien or robotic poetry, and puns. Multiple translated versions of his works exist.

A young Polish boy with a passion for tinkering with broken items, Stanislaw Lem had high hopes for his future. He wanted to put his tinkering skills to work for him until the Germans invaded Poland in the beginning of World War II. His dreams of being a scientist or doctor were shattered, but he was still able to dismantle German tanks while pretending to repair them. This risky business led Lem to realize that life was short, and one little mistake could mean the end. After the war, Lem decided to pursue his dream of being a scientist, but he could not accept the rules that were enforced as law. So he dropped out of school and started to write science fiction. He wrote many science fiction novels, including Solaris and The Invincible. He used satire to show how futile human attempts were at trying to control the universe, like the Communists’ attempt to control thought. Lem’s books were received well in Poland and once translated into English, he became a very popular science fiction writer.

Summary

In this story, the great inventor Trurl creates the worlds greatest thinking machine. Everything starts to go wrong though when Trurl asks the eight-story machine the answer to 2 + 2. After much deliberation, it answers SEVEN. The machine becomes enraged when Trurl and his friend, Klapaucius begin to insult the it. It escapes and begins to chase Trurl and Klapaucius into the surrounding mountains. The machine catches up with them eventually and Trurl faces off with his creation in the dramatic conclusion.

Stanislaw Lem was born in Lwow, Poland on September 12, 1921. He attended Lwow University and later Jagiellonian University to study medicine. He purposely failed his final exams in order to avoid being forced to become a military doctor. Stanislaw published his first poems in 1946 and his first science fiction novel, The Man From Mars in the same year. He wrote a novella titled, Hospital of the Transfiguration which was suppressed by the communist regime until he completed a sequel that followed more socialist doctrine in 1955. He became internationally known for The Cyberiad, a collection of short stories. “Trurl’s Machine” is part of this collection. Lem continued to write science fiction for most of his life. He died of heart disease on March 27, 2006 at the age of 84.

The absurdity of the events in the story make it very interesting. The quick witted Klapaucius acts as a comic foil to Trurl’s stubborn personality. Overall, I like this story and would recommend it to anyone.

Vocabulary Words

absurdity is a thing that is extremely unreasonable, so as to be foolish or not taken seriously, or the state of being so. “Absurd” is an adjective used to describe an absurdity, e.g., “this encyclopedia article is absurd.” Oppression, the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner, also an act or instance of oppressing. Stubborn, is a description of someone who is seen by others to steadfastly refuse to change their opinions, despite being presented with good reasons to. The word can also be used to describe objects that are difficult to move or change. Transfiguration of Jesus, an event reported by the Synoptic Gospels in which Jesus underwent transfiguration with the prophets Moses and Elijah. Fiction is the form of any work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary andtheoretical—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,cinematic, or musical work. Fiction contrasts with non-fiction, which deals exclusively with factual (or, at least, assumed factual) events, descriptions, observations, etc.

A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. The English word “novella” derives from the Italian word “novella”, feminine of “novello”, which means “new”.] The novella is a common literary genre in several European languages. Rage (often called fury or frenzy) is a feeling of intense or growing anger. It is associated with the Fight-or-fligh response and oftentimes activated in response to an external cue, such as the murder of a loved one or some other kind of serious offense. The phrase, ‘thrown into a fit of rage,’ expresses the immediate nature of rage that occurs before deliberation. If left unchecked rage may lead to violence. Depression and anxiety lead to an increased susceptibility to rage and there are modern treatments for this emotional pattern.. A machine is a tool that consists of one or more parts, and uses energy to achieve a particular goal.

Machines are usually powered by mechanical, chemical, thermal, or electrical means, and are frequently motorized. Historically, a powered tool also required moving parts to classify as a machine; however, the advent of electronic technology has led to the development of powered tools without moving parts that are considered machines. Doctrine (from Latin: doctrina) is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system. The Greek analogue is the etymology of catechism. sequel (also called a follow-on or follow-up) is a narrative, document, or other work of literature, film, theatre, or music that continues the story of, or expands upon, some earlier work. In the common context of a narrative work of fiction, a sequel portrays events set in the same fictional universe as an earlier work, usually chronologically following the events of that work.

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