Most Honourable Professor
n I would like to ask you to be so kind as to write some letters for me, recommending me as a student of yours working in the field of aesthetics and philosophy, to a professor of philosophy in France whom you know. Apparently they greatly respect such forms there, and don’t want to deal with just anybody. Of course, if you think that this is unnecessary, or if there are certain other reasons that make it impossible for you to facilitate such contacts for me, I’ll try to manage on my own somehow, to what effect I don’t know. The main goal of my trip is to establish some academic contacts abroad, in connection with which, if you know someone who could make it easier for me to announce a lecture in Paris, I’d also be very grateful if you could write a few words. I’ve prepared three lectures – I’m currently finalising them – just in case I manage, by some miracle, to get to Toulouse (which is doubtful, due to the ‒ so far ‒ rather fragile financial basis for my trip, which is paid for only to and from Paris). One of the lectures will concern the aesthetic sensitivity of children and adults (making use of materials collected during research at the National Museum on the behaviour of children in the museum, as well as other materials from research on adults) ‒ this lecture, to the extent necessary in terms of the quality of the audience (e.g. educators, teachers), could be supplemented by a film I want to take with me; just in case, I’ve prepared two versions: one theoretical, on the topic of aesthetic sensitivity, the other more informative-descriptive, based strictly on research. The second topic is the same one I sent to the Congress of Philosophy of the French Language, ‘The role of language in understanding a work of art’; the third will probably be about aesthetic methods, but I’ve rewritten it, and it will no longer contain criticism of your views; however, it may encompass the issue of the mutual relations of the artist, viewer, and critic, i.e. a piece of the subject matter in my new book, which is waiting its turn at Wydawnictwo Literackie [Literary Publishers].
n And one more reason why it’s important to me to have letters from you: this would make it easier for me to quickly establish contacts, as I don’t know how long I’ll be in Paris, and it’s possible that I’ll be there for a very short time (depending on whether I can get some kind of work which would enable me to stay longer). I’m preparing to leave on Saturday; I wanted to show you my passport on Saturday, but Professor Znamierowski cut in, thus depriving me of the pleasure of showing off something so generally desired by everyone (complete with a French visa, no less). I’ll be in Warsaw on Tuesday, and I’ll settle the final visa formalities; of course, I haven’t received an answer from the Ministry yet, and probably the approval will reach the University only after I’ve returned – however, I received leave for May from the rector (the Minister’s signature is already on the Ministry application, along with approvals from several Commissions).
n Since I’m leaving soon, and letters to France take at least a week, I’d be grateful if you could possibly give me the letters, and I could hand them over personally. I’m also taking the liberty of addressing this request to you because once, when I was talking about my trip, you mentioned that you’d like to facilitate the establishment of academic contacts in France for me.
n n n I send cordial greetings and expressions of respect
n n n n n n Maria Gołaszewska