v v EDITORIAL COMMITTEE v v v v Warsaw, 1/19/1955
OF THE LIBRARY OF CLASSICS OF PHILOSOPHY
v Dear and Honorable Professor,
v I am only replying to the Professor’s letter from the 12th today (I received it on Sunday), because I wanted to discuss matters related to the introduction to Leibniz with Kołakowski, and it got delayed again, as I have trouble with Myzia. Her scarlet fever is basically already over with (XXX week, and tomorrow, if there is no wind, she could go out for a walk), but the issue with her hand got complicated. About seven weeks ago she had an accident in kindergarten – a boy – her friend – pinched her fingers (in the door, she put them there). Everything was getting better, until suddenly pus and open wounds reappeared, it travelled from just two fingers to the whole hand. It turned out that there was an infection – penicillin is not working on it – the issue is chronic, painful during procedures, troublesome (it is the right hand), and yet again we have to postpone the trip, which would be very beneficial to her, and let me breathe some fresh air and devote more time to work. Well, what can one do.
v Now onto the introduction. As for some unpleasant expressions regarding Leibniz – they have been removed. The entire text has been thoroughly reviewed again taking into consideration Professor’s comments (the latest ones) and Dąmbska’s comments that arrived almost simultaneously (Iza also corrected some inaccuracies in biography, bibliography and terminology). Some awkward expressions were also modified. My husband’s remarks influenced some changes in the paragraph on Theodicy (judged perhaps too harshly by Koł. – Voltaire in XXX mocks Leibniz XXX, i.e. Wolf and – above all – Pope; Leibniz’s Theodicy XXX goes into Hegel, doesn’t it? Now for the matter of development and the matter of logic. Here the situation would require the author to graduate a supplementary study program if he were to present all these issues in a reliable way, for which in this situation we do not have the time. And writing short, superficial passages on them would be unworthy of actual decent work. Therefore, Koł. added a paragraph at the very end wherein he lists the main shortcomings of his work – these two among them (apart from that – XXX with the merits and the role of Leibniz as a science organizer, mathematician, philologist). This – as it seemed to us – was the best thing that could be done in this situation. – Leibniz is in general – as you yourself write, Professor – seriously underdeveloped when it comes to exegesis, and I doubt it will be considered to be our failure that this introduction – undoubtedly thought out, intelligent and interesting – will also have its deficiencies. – One more thing, which should have probably been mentioned above if we were to keep the thematic order: Leszek Koł. has read Nouveux Essais anew and cannot understand what Professor means that the state of development of Leibniz’s thoughts presented by N.E. does not correspond in certain points with its image provided in the introduction. Wouldn’t Professor be willing to explain which elements are referred to in that opinion? Because it would then have to be possibly corrected, at least in the galley proofs.
v Regarding the corrections in Leibniz – well, Cierniakówna agreed to only a few (about 30 for the entire book), and only those that she herself introduced in consultation with Iza. I deeply regret that Professor did not have access to the galley proofs, I was convinced that you did. At the next meeting (it will take place on Saturday, February 19) we must – based on our current history successes and failures – thoroughly discuss the proofing procedure. Leibniz is one of those books I usually do not deal with – apart from when absolutely necessary, at times some conflict arises. Such books, however, must be published, and as our production increases, their number will have to increase. But in these cases, as it turns out, the division and XXX of work have not yet been worked out. Cierniakówna says that she did not have the courage to burden Professor with this proof, and the galley one, which by the way took a lot from her, instead she did it herself in consultation with Iza (who even visited Warsaw for this purpose). The Committee need to establish a rule that the one to read galley proofs – apart from the editor and translator – will be the head of the department or the scientific editor of the book, if the book has one, and in some cases even these three individuals (as it was e.g. in Herschl’s case, where the galley proofs were read by the translator, the editor (Prof. Wallis) and Prof. Kotarbiński). With such a procedure in place we will be able to promise PWN that there will be no editorial changes after typesetting. – In the case of Leibniz it is difficult to talk about anyone’s personal responsibility – maybe just mine, that I failed to see the matter of the galley proofs through. It was my mistake – but in an undertaking as difficult as the LCP I do not think it inexplicable
v As for Spinoza – I am not sure what the inconsistencies you are referring to are, because it was also not “my” book – I was only interested in it as far as its contentious issues or problems. Would Professor please kindly send us any errors or inconsistencies you noticed – for each published book we have a folder wherein we note all the noticed errors and defects, including those that are minor and do not enter errata – precisely in order to be able to rectify them in case of a reissue. – As for Dańcewicz – I am not sure if he deserved to be thanked in the introduction, such work, and more, is done by each of our editors, whose names often do not appear in books at all. An employee whose XXX was not useful, would not be working with us, after all.
v I shall be finishing for now, Professor. Of course, it is late evening or night again – the day is somehow too short, or I am extremely inept when it comes to caring for a sick child, I am not able to change the dressings properly, before, during, and for a good moment afterwards I am thrown off balance, and the Nanny is so worried, that she would be unable to do any of that herself, or even deal with giving the medicine that the little girl does not like.
v The day before yesterday, I was walking down a street during the storm and it really took quite a struggle to reach the editorial office. What a scourge this winter is!
v v Finally, I send you my sincere devotion
v v v v v and most cordial greetings