Letter from Anna Teresa Tymieniecka written 29.10.1956


  b      Dear Professor,
  b      Thank you very much for the letter and for the postcard. Although sent first – it came last. I was really glad that Fatand could meet you. It is true that he is not read much in phenomenology. It is hard to expect from the so-called “agrégatire” to knows literature that is not exactly in the program, as the program is so busy every year and the requirements so high that not so many can cope with them. Husserl seemed to be part of the program 2 years ago, but there were so many other authors next to him that I can imagine having difficulty in deepening one’s phenomenological knowledge by reading works other than just Husserl’s best known ones.
  b      He has known of “Essentiale fragen”, “Das Literarische Kunstwerk” for at least 5 years from me but he has not read them, probably for the aforementioned reasons. As for me, I have read both several times. Professor was even so kind as to give me “Das Literarische Kunstwerk” yourself and I have it at my place.
  b      The atmosphere here is extremely hectic right now because of my trip to Yale tomorrow morning. I have already written the first part of my study on ideas – about you (65 pages), work on the second is underway (20 pages done). After all, my intuitions take the whole problem to onto a different track – so it requires a lot of detailed research, and I am not sure if it will not turn out to be like the work of a cat trying to catch its own tail. But the main task of this letter is to clear up a misunderstanding. I would be very sorry if Professor remained under the wrong impression that my lectures at Corvallis were a failure. The criteria of “a professor’s success” here are much more tangible than in Europe, as in = student opinions. At the end of the year, I organized so-called “Excellent teaches test” in 2 of my lectures, i.e. they received forms with questions about my lectures, knowledge, interest in the subject and students, personality, etc. These forms are provided by a special commission upon the lecturer’s request. Well, the results were as follows: out of four possible (excellent, good, fair, poor), I received 85% “excellent” and 15% “good” for all questions regarding knowledge, teaching methods, interest in the subject, etc. Of all the answers (36 questions on each form), I only received two “poor” marks. Of which one for “speech”; the other for “elegance”. According to the dean, to whom I gave the forms “for future reference”, the results were very good.
  b      Even if that were not the case, I do not suppose Tarski would repeat it to Fr. Bocheński. Of course, both of them know well that I “am clueless” when it comes to mathematics, but that is a completely different matter. Sometimes you are given some subjects to teach that you are not well prepared in, and it is the ability to quickly master those that is, in my opinion, a hallmark of the academic level. (At College d’Europe I gave lectures in politics, economics and geography with reasonable success. This geography was particularly successful! Tarski was particularly amused by that. I do not think, therefore, that the matter of mathematics could have any impact on my relations with T. and Fr.B. However, I suspect more personal reasons on T’s part. Such violent and intense friendships can, and often do, have, unexpected outcomes (not always with regards to both parties in question.) I am afraid that T. has a deep resentment towards me, although I do not feel like I should have much of a sense of guilt. It was for this reason that I was apprehensive towards his upheaval confessions to Fr.B., because conversations about the intimate lives of his friends are T.’s favorite topic. And he shows unbelievable capability for creating fiction in this area – he can create completely insane stories. Apart from that he is an absolutely charming man. Of course I am writing this to you in absolute confidence.
  b      Following this “mise au point” I have to finish quickly, because the chaos is incredible. I am so happy about the changes in the country. I suspect that the issue of the publishing of Controversy has moved forward by now. Hopefully in a positive way! Please excuse my hurried scribbling. Heartfelt greetings for both Professor and Honorable Lady from Teresa, Henk and Ludwik