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Hospital of the Transfiguration (Czas nieutracony #1)

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3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  561 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
It is 1939; the Nazis have occupied Poland. A young doctor disturbed by the fate of Poland joins the staff of an insane asylum only to find a world of pain and absurdity to match that outside. Translated by William Brand. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Paperback, 228 pages
Published April 30th 1991 by Mariner Books (first published 1955)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,005)
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Jose Gaona
Dec 15, 2014 Jose Gaona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ficción
http://conclusioninatinente.blogspot....

Lem demuestra por qué es uno de los escritores más grandes del siglo con esta novela. Primero traslada al lector a un territorio hostil, a un yermo desolado. Luego lo convence de que hay esperanza allí donde a priori solo puede haber un abismo infinito. Finalmente, y cuando la función está a punto de acabar, enciende las luces, disolviendo la ilusión y arrojando a sus personajes por el precipicio. Y sin embargo, aunque la caída no parece tener fin, el dese
...more
James
Sep 13, 2012 James rated it really liked it
Lem's books are always bleak. That's partly why I read him as often as I do, but this one was by far the bleakest. Undoubtedly because of where and when the story takes place-Poland in the winter of 1939 and the following Spring and Summer. The loss of hope and identity suffered by the conquered Poles permeates every line of the story and even the smallest events like the leaves changing colors or the breathing of a family member dying of old age. Lem describes the futility of everything under t ...more
Spacewanderer
Aug 26, 2012 Spacewanderer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I had ever read Stanislaw Lem, and I said no. To that he said, well, you should. And to that I said, I will. So I did, and by the end of the first chapter of "Hospital of the Transfiguration" I knew Lem was going to be come one of my all time favorite authors.

Not sci-fi, a genre in which Lem is well known, "Hospital of the Transfiguration" is a semi-autobiographical novel about a doctor working in an asylum in German-occupied Poland during WWII. The stor
...more
Marek Pawlowski
Dec 23, 2015 Marek Pawlowski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
„Szpital przemienienia” jest rewelacyjną książką przede wszystkim dlatego, że pomiędzy wierszami mamy zawarte całkiem ciekawe rozważania filozoficzno-egzystencjalne na temat tego, kim jest człowiek. Wszystko to opakowane w literacki opis tworzy niezwykłą atmosferę tego dzieła. Nie zaliczyłbym tej pozycji do czołówki najlepszych prac Lema, niemniej jednak jest ona naprawdę dobra. Obraz szpitala psychiatrycznego działającego podczas wojny i stosunkowo mroczne przedstawienie ludzkich charakterów tw ...more
Jacek
Jan 28, 2012 Jacek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lem-fiction
Na okładce tej książki powinno widnieć ostrzeżenie: "Uwaga, zmusza do myślenia!". Geniusz autora atakuje czytelnika na każdej stronie. Niczym natrętny owad, zadręcza ciągle zadawanymi pytaniami filozoficznymi. Autor tym swoim intelektualnym natręctwem sprawia, że przy każdorazowym odłożeniu książki w głowie czytającego kiełkuje cała seria etycznych rozterek. "Szpital Przemienienia" nie stara się dawać jakiejkolwiek odpowiedzi na to grono zacnych pytań. To barki czytelnika zostają obciążone jarzm ...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
This is a superb book but I can understand Lem fans being puzzled by it. It was his first book and is semi-autobiographical being written not long after the War. It starts with a funeral and that strange disassociation one gets when mixing with members of the family one does not often meet or know more than superficially. It then moves on to the "hospital" - the Mental Institution - where everything takes on a surreal drifting quality - things are observed in crisp detail but as if through a fog ...more
Teb
Nov 18, 2011 Teb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really strange book. Probably the strangest of Lem's books I've read so far. Surprisignly, this is the only one taking place in twentieth century and with historical background.

Well, I haven't written anything about plot, my impressions etc., which you should include in review, but I think I need some time to make conclusions. Yes, that's one of those books that leave you silent for a quite some time after finishing.

Maybe it's not a masterpiece (or maybe is?), but I recommend it to everyone, esp
...more
Rich Meyer
Feb 08, 2016 Rich Meyer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Now this is a great book ... not "great" as in just "good", but this should be up there in the category of "proper literature". This is the first book by Stanislaw Lem that I've read that wasn't science fiction in theme, but like all of his work, he tries to push the conventions, and succeeds wildly here.

The story is set as Poland is being invaded by Germany, and follows a young, disaffected Polish doctor as he goes to a family funeral and ends up staying in the area to practice at a rundown ps
...more
Luis Francisco Martínez
Jun 24, 2015 Luis Francisco Martínez rated it really liked it

El comienzo un tanto morboso, lleno de las descripciones propias de un hospital psiquiátrico de inicios del siglo xx instalado en la Europa de entreguerras (las terapias basadas en electrochoques y condiciones infrahumanas a las que eran sometidos los internos), logra ser rebasado por la fuerza literaria que tiene su génesis en la tensión narrativa proveniente de los personajes internos y su interacción con Stefan; un médico que llega a trabajar al hospital y una vez instalado ahí sufre de la ma
...more
Lindsay
Jul 10, 2008 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very thought provoking. The characters are realistic and variable, and the setting of an insane asylum an unusual one. As the book progressed it became more disturbing, and ultimately the inmates were less dangerous and crazy than the rest of the world.
Cristina
Oct 27, 2015 Cristina rated it really liked it
One thing I like about this book is that Stanislaw Lem resisted the temptation of presenting his main character as special. Stefan, a young doctor in an insane asylum, is nothing but an ordinary individual. An intelectual but with an IQ not over the board, no major professional accomplishments, or interests, for what it matters, and not necessarily anything outstanding about his personality or character. The bulk of the book is not centered around Nazis' occupation in Poland. But mostly around S ...more
Gabriel
Feb 05, 2014 Gabriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: polish
Quienes pretendan leer aquí algo del lem de Ciberíada, Tichy, Prix... simplemente no lo hagan. O si se animan, pero muchos pueden decepcionarse. No es un mal libro, en absoluto, es una novela de formación. Lem todavía busca aquí el tono, los temas, podemos reconocer los personajes, pero los problemas y el contexto son muy ajenos al resto de su obra, o así pareciera a primera vista.
Catalina
Feb 03, 2015 Catalina rated it it was amazing
Un gran libro. Una historia real, que habla de la demencia, la avaricia y la malicia humana. Los locos no parecen tan locos y los cuerdos, comprueban que no es necesario estar loco para hacer cosas inhumanas. Retrata un momento de la realidad histórica que ha marcado el mundo y se aproxima desde un ángulo diferente. Un gran libro y un gran escritor.
Isaac Cisneros
May 04, 2016 Isaac Cisneros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mi primer y único libro de Lem leído a la fecha. La narrativa que emplea en esta temprana obra de su carrera me transportó a ese lugar surrealista del que sientes que tienes que salir cuanto antes pero por algún motivo muy fuerte e invisible no lo haces.
Víctor Antón
May 17, 2016 Víctor Antón rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novela
Una muestra más de que Lem, desde sus inicios, le daba a todos los palos. Novela onírica y filosófica, llena de personajes arquetípicos.
Диана
Dec 16, 2015 Диана rated it it was amazing
A great book. A warning: it is at times very difficult to read if you are hyper-sensitive or a hypochondriac or something.
John
Aug 22, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Lem's first novel, and it is unlike any of his other works that I have read in that it is not science fiction. The story concerns the fate of a young Polish doctor who takes a position at a psychiatric hospital shortly after the invasion of Poland by the Germans at the start of WWII. In that, it is somewhat autobiographical. There are vignettes about his interactions with the colorful and tragic patients at the hospital, and his run-ins with the Polish resistance. I'm trying not to give ...more
monica
Apr 28, 2013 monica rated it it was ok
Per quell'epoca questo è stato uno dei migliori libri di denuncia su quello che accadeva all'interno di un manicomio. Per quell'epoca. ORA è solo un libro che accenna qualcosa. Niente di più.
Visto quello che sappiamo oggi sui manicomi e sulle torture perpetrate dai cosidetti medici verso i "pazienti", questo rimane un libro deludente.
(forse a causa di tutti i mali che abbiamo commesso dopo, siamo abituati a leggere di atroci sofferenze e torture verso i nostri simili, la nostra coscienza è ane
...more
Tomasz Bartczak
Książka opowiada o dość smutnych wydarzeniach, na dodatek historycznych. Nie lubię takich książek jednocześnie nie mogę ich nie czytać. Ten styl Lema nie przypadł mi do gustu. Poza wydarzeniami w drugiej połowie książki nie do końca chyba zrozumiałem sens tej książki.
Djerzinski
Me aburroooooooo. Me ha costado trabajo terminarlo.... ¡un montón! Pero tiene unas cuantas reflexiones interesantes. Y también tiene puntazos de humor. Yo creo que lo de Lem es la ciencia ficción; Solaris es genial (que también tiene esos puntazos de humor, made in Lem). En fin, también ésta fue su primera novela... pero si tengo que recomendar algo para empezar con Lem, desde luego esta novela no. Solaris, sin duda.
Stark
May 29, 2011 Stark rated it it was amazing
miraculous. tremblingly alive to the world, to beauty, to horror, to nakedness, to truth, to despair, to awe. lem's first novel, not science fiction but an autobiographical story of a young doctor during his residency at a psychiatric hospital in occupied poland, his observations and conversations with the doctors, patients, and local partizans, and then, the germans finally arrive. ranks with "crossroads" by karel capek.
Jeremy
Jan 14, 2013 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
This story of events at a mental hospital in Poland during Nazi occupation has all the lived-in reality of a malignant tumor cut from a corpse, embalmed and placed on display as a medical specimen. It is powerful, shocking, disturbing and pathological. You won't be able to put it down, but if you're innocent enough to be unacquainted with the ugly history of mental health, you may wish you'd never read it.
Javier de la Peña Ontanaya
Decepcionante. Tiene muchos ingredientes para ser una gran novela, pero inexplicablemente se pierde en monólogos y la trama pasa a ser totalmente estéril. Abundan los tecnicismos médicos (se aprecia demasiado que el autor es licenciado en medicina) y se centra demasiado en ello, dejando de lado otros aspectos muchos más importantes en la narrativa y, por ello, el interés del lector se pierde.
Al Maki
Dec 15, 2013 Al Maki rated it really liked it
If you're a Lem fan I recommend this book. It's rooted in the experience of his early life and gives a sense of what the incredible imagination and thoughtfulness of his "mature" work came out of. I think it's also valuable because it shows what the second world war was like from a slavic perspective, something that most of us inhabitants of North America don't know.
Luke
Nov 30, 2015 Luke rated it really liked it
First encounter with Lem and for sure not the last one. Much better than Asimov Foundation for example though someone would say it's not the same category.
Wendy
Mar 06, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it
This was a story of a young doctor who takes a position in an asylum just after Germany has taken over Poland. I'm sure it was packed with symbolic things I didn't understand. Nothing that happened seemed to matter, otherwise. There was a brain surgery described very vividly and then the ending was dark and depressing. I guess you can't expect much better with Nazis.
Luis Marroquin
Oct 21, 2015 Luis Marroquin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La vida lleva consigo momentos de redención. El sufrimiento no es perpetuo así como la felicidad. Creo que el dolor al visualizar el final de este libro es sofocado por las últimas lineas en donde con el beso de una mujer, pudiera cualquier hombre, por más torpe, vacío e inútil que sea, volver a comenzar a vivir de nuevo la vida que queda por delante.
Gold Standard
Jul 14, 2014 Gold Standard rated it it was ok
Entrenido sí. Prescindible, también.
Margot
Jan 27, 2016 Margot rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
***/
Justyna
Aug 19, 2008 Justyna rated it really liked it
This is Lem's first book and it is not science fiction. It is a story of a young doctor who gets a job at a psychiatric hospital in the Polish countryside during WWII. The beginning has one of the best funeral descriptions I have ever read.
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Stanisław Lem (staˈɲiswaf lɛm) was a Polish science fiction, philosophical and satirical writer of Jewish descent. His books have been translated into 41 languages and have sold over 27 million copies. He is perhaps best known as the author of Solaris, which has twice been made into a feature film. In 1976, Theodore Sturgeon claimed that Lem was the most widely read science-fiction writer in the w ...more
More about Stanisław Lem...

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“The only writers who have any peace are the ones who don't write. And there are some like that. They wallow in a sea of possibilities. To express a thought, you first have to limit it, and that means kill it. Every word I speak robs me of a thousand others, and every line I write means giving up another.” 30 likes
“I see a poem as a multi-coloured strip behind peeling plaster, in separate, shining fragments.” 9 likes
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