Letter from Władysław Tatarkiewicz written 29.07.1966

Nieborów      Łowicz

Dear Roman.

            Thank you very much for the letters and wishes. As for wishes and awards: in connection with the previous distribution of prizes, one of the participants on the philosophical committee revealed to me that the meeting had begun with the idea that you, Kotarbiński, and I were on a level above the prize, upon which they began to discuss other candidates. At present that has changed: you and K. have remained in the highest position, whereas I’ve fallen to the level of the prize. But at least I’m not worried about it; on the contrary, I’m satisfied. And I’m convinced that you won’t be able to keep your place on that lofty summit for very long and will eventually share my fate.

            I spent a day and a half travelling to Warsaw to pick up my award certificate. It was solemn and pleasant, although I knew very few people, given the enormous preponderance of physicists and technicians. In the Hall, among the winners, I knew only Michałowski, two painters, one art historian, and one female writer, though Różewicz reminded me that he was my student in Cracow.

            Apart from this trip to Warsaw, we’ve been in Nieborów. So far it’s been good; only now are we beginning to get bad weather. But given the living conditions here, it doesn’t bother me very much. I’m studying Experience ‒ Work of Art ‒ Value, combining pleasure with benefit, because I need your considerations for a new version of ‘Focus and dreams’ commissioned for the Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale.

            As for my offprints, I’m happy that they interest you; but I’ll only be able to send them from Warsaw, to which we’re returning on 15 August. Anyway, ‘Desirons-nous être heureux’ [Do we want to be happy?] is a slightly altered version of one of the chapters of ‘Aristoteles, ein moderner Ästhetiker’ [Aristotle, a modern aesthetician] that came out in German at Guna. I’m a bit concerned as to whether I’ll still be able to find an offprint, because it’s an old paper, probably from 1960. You were the first person to whom I sent it, but it may have gone missing. Among new things, I have ‘L’idée de l’art’ [The idea of art], published by the Univ. of Toulouse; the offprints arrived just before the trip and I couldn’t send them out; I’ll send you one right after I get back.

            The state prize is in cash, but not foreign currency. At the Polish Academy of Sciences, the situation regarding trips is no easier than it ever was: I confirmed this by applying for a trip to Italy for lectures and to Belgium for an aesthetic colloquium. In light of this, I prefer to give up Denmark and focus my opportunities on this other trip. I saw the IIP [Institut International de Philosophie, or International Institute of Philosophy] team last year in Jerusalem.

            I have a request for you: namely, I’d like to see you on your way to Copenhagen. So be so good as to let me know when you’re in Warsaw.

            I wish you continued improvement with your leg and I send both of you dear people my best regards