By Alekseï Nikolaevitch Tolstoï

Peu après l. a. Première Guerre mondiale, l'ingénieur Loss se lance dans los angeles development d'une fusée pour rejoindre los angeles planète Mars. Mais personne ne veut l'accompagner dans ce voyage périlleux, à l'exception d'un aventurier, un ancien soldat de l'Armée rouge, Goussev. Arrivés sur Mars, ils y découvrent une civilisation millénaire, fondée par les rescapés de l'Atlantide où le luxe féodal de los angeles caste des gouvernants est le fruit du travail de mornes foules d'ouvriers...

Réflexion sur l. a. révolution, le progrès, les risks de l. a. décadence de l. a. civilisation, Aélita (1923) est considéré comme le ultimate chef-d'oeuvre de l. a. science-fiction soviétique. Mais le roman de Tolstoï est avant tout un grand livre d'aventures, dans l'esprit des oeuvres de H.G. Wells, Jack London, Burroughs ou Brioussov. Les légendes de l'Atlantide, les épopées des Hommes du Ciel, les scènes d'amour et de wrestle, les envolées mystiques de Loss, l'intelligence prosaïque et les réparties comiques de Goussev - un personnage classique du skaz du XIXe siècle -, les descriptions d'un monde inconnu et mystérieux, tout cela fait d'Aélita un roman exaltant.

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Secondly, Poland became a strategic destination for large numbers of transit migrants denied access to, or anticipating difficulty in entering, western Europe. Thirdly, permanent emigration (that is, for settlement) dropped to a level which is probably lower than was typically the case under repressive communist rule, and - if this is accurate - represents the lowest in modern Polish history. Fourthly, a number of deep structural changes occurred, such as: Marek Okolski 23 - 'incomplete' migration became the most common form of international movements of people, replacing in this regard settlement migration; - emigrants generally shifted to less remote destinations and their average stay abroad was drastically shortened; - illegal emigration faded away, and in a sense was replaced by illegal immigration; - the inflow of highly educated foreigners started to outnumber the outflow of highly educated Poles, at least in the case of settlement migration.

The question appears trivial but nevertheless needs to be asking and answered. I shall address it in an indirect way by describing major developments in Polish migration over several recent decades. In doing so it would perhaps be useful to look as far back as at the second half of the nineteenth century when Poland - somewhat late by comparison with western Europe - experienced a rapid degree of modernisation. This process followed industrialisation and a number of social reforms, which included the final abolition of serfdom and limited enfranchisement of the peasantry.

We should draw attention to one further ramification of this phenomenon. The character and scale of migratory movements into Poland and on her eastern frontier have exceptional significance and not only for policy-makers in central and eastern Europe; they also pose a major problem on the road to European integration. Together with the impending enlargement of the European Union and NATO, the eastern frontier of the united Europe will be shifted several hundreds kilometres to the East and in the future will lie, not along the Oder and Neisse rivers, but along the River Bug.

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