100th anniversary

“Solaris” by Lem voted book of the centenary

Poland’s “100 Books for the 100th Anniversary of Independence” have been chosen. Science Fiction author Stanisław Lem appears at the top.

Solaris by Stanisław Lem won the plebiscite. Second came A World Apart by Gustaw Herling-Grudziński and third was Witold Gombrowicz’s Ferdydurke.

Two female authors found their way into the top ten – Maria Dąbrowska with her Nights and Days and Zofia Nałkowska’s Medallions. There was also one play, Tango by Sławomir Mrożek, two poetry collections: Poems by Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński and Mr. Cogito by Zbigniew Herbert. Brunon Schulz’s Cinnamon Shops and Stefan Żeromski’s The Coming Spring concluded the best works. 

I think that Lem himself would be surprised, because he’d always complain that he was treated as a second-rate author and was unappreciated by literary critics

“I think that Lem himself would be surprised, because he’d always complain that he was treated as a second-rate author and was unappreciated by literary critics,” said professor Maciej Urbanowski of the Jagiellonian University. 

The plebiscite was conducted by Polish Radio and the Book Institute. More than 21,000 people voted between the 18thof September and the 11thof November. The 100 books to choose from were prepared by Polish literature professors and literature experts. 

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