Cracow, Biskupia 14.
In Cracow, 12/12/1957
On November 17, I spoke with Bromberg, the director of Polish Scientific Publishers, about the possibility of PSP’s publishing the Commemorative Book for Prof. Tatarkiewicz. Director Bromberg took a favourable position in this matter, asking only that the authors waive any royalties, which ‒ as I told him ‒ seemed entirely feasible to me. However, within the past few days, I received a letter from the Editorial Offices of the philosophy division of PSP with the statement that the publication of this Book will be possible only in 1959, since the plan for 1958 is already completely filled. Accordingly, I invited Iza Dąmbska, Stefan Swieżawski, and Fr Jan Popiel to see me on Tuesday, in order to decide what to do. As of now, we’ve reached the conclusion, after exhausting other possibilities that proved to be non-existent here in Cracow, that a beautifully typed copy should be handed to Prof. Tatarkiewicz on his next birthday; however, at the same time, the opportunity to publish and make use of PSP’s offer should not be abandoned. The letter from PSP contained still another condition, namely, the wish for me to undertake the editing of this book. Well, I’ve occupied myself with this matter so far at the request of several students of Prof. Tatarkiewicz, but to undertake editing for publication is something I absolutely cannot do, first because I’m so overwhelmed with work that I couldn’t do it in time, and second, that I don’t know how to manage editorial things of this type. Not only does everything have to be read through, but it should also be adjusted appropriately for publication, so that the printing can be done from a correct text. Well, there are many things I don’t see and I have a great deal of trouble with that when I’m preparing my own books for printing (I don’t see e.g. typographical errors, missing commas, incorrect spelling, etc.). After a long while, we came to the conclusion that PSP would not undertake this matter if, for example, we were to propose one of Prof. Tatarkiewicz’s younger students as an editor, since they want to see some kind of authority. And when we began to seek this authority, we concluded that it was necessary to turn to you with an urgent request for you to agree to undertake this tedious work. You’re exceptionally gifted in this respect, and even though you’re also overwhelmed with work, you nevertheless have so much experience that it will go much better and faster for you than for any of us. What’s more, of the older people who are taking part in this event (recently, to my great joy, Elzenberg agreed to give me his paper), only you have the kind of authority that PSP will accept. Thus I’m asking you, in the name of Tatarkiewicz’s students, who got this whole thing started (while, nota bene, they themselves are the farthest behind with their papers, as neither Kadlerówna nor Zwolińska have handed in their papers yet, which is why this whole business has dragged on so long).
A few days ago, the first volume of my Studies on Aesthetics came out. So far I’ve received 40 copies and bought 10 more; and already I have none left. If I get a few more copies, I’ll try to send you one. Volume I contains almost exclusively new editions of previously published items (The Cognition of the Literary Work of Art etc.; only the dissertation On Poetry is being published for the first time). The second volume, already in second proofs, contains almost only new or newly edited things. It was supposed to come out at Christmas, but it probably won’t. More than 900 pages altogether. It’s the beginning of the collected edition of my Philosophical Works, which, moreover, was supposed to come out over a number of years. That’s rather unlikely in the present situation, but in any case I’m trying to carry it out, and in this connection I have plenty of work for the next few years, assuming I live that long ‒ especially since I’d like to publish the German editions separately, either in Poland or abroad.
It seems to me I’ve already written you concerning the Congress in Marburg. I’m eagerly looking forward to your favourable response and I attach best wishes for a peaceful Christmas holiday.