Letter to the Committee of the Library of Classics of Philosophy written 18.07.1951
R.Ingarden Zakopane, 7/18/1951
Department of German Philosophy
Head Office of the Committee of the
Library of Classics of Philosophy
v in Warsaw
v In response to the letter from July 13th of this year I would like to kindly report the following:
1) I confirm the receipt of the contract regarding the translation of “Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason” signed by Director Kuryluk and I am waiting for the previously mentioned supplement to it.
2) In light of the rejection of the point of the contract proposed by me covering the event of the translator’s death before the delivery of the translation he undertakes, I formally declare that in the event of my death prior to the submission of the entire translation of the “Critique of Pure Reason” my family will not return the advances paid to me beforehand.
3) Thank you for including the translation of “Opuscules et fragments inédits de Leibniz” (Couturat) into the budget estimate for 1951 (commencement of translation activities).
4) I have already notified Gierulanka, PhD, about the need to provide a translation sample by the translator. However, I had understood that the sample was to be delivered to me as the head of the translation department of German philosophy. Since it is not clear in the content of the Office’s letter, please specify exactly who this sample is to be delivered to and who shall assess it. In any case, I reserve the right to vote on this matter.
5) As for the fee for translating “Opusculues”, the sum of PLN 750 per sheet was only a suggestion on my part considering the translation difficulties. The final decision on this matter shall be reached between the of Committee Office (or the State Publishing Institute) and the translator herself.
6) The same applies to moving up the translation deadline. However, I shall note that I believe the intention to publish the book in 1953 seems too early, because of the difficulty of translation and the obligatory classes the translator conducts at the University (she is an associate professor at the Jagiellonian University) as well as the need for a review of the translation by the department head.
7) As for point “(1)”, demanding that I refer and justify my selection of fragments from “Opuscules” before the ad hoc commission by September 1st is unacceptable to me. In addition, making the signing of contract with the translator conditional on its fulfillment seems to me to be contrary to both the current definition of the functions and duties of department managers and the resolutions of the entire Committee: a) the resolution assigning Leibniz to me, b) the resolution approving my suggestion for the translation of the entire selection of Leibniz’s “Opuscules”.
In this case, however, I shall refrain from making any decisions until the receipt of the agreement regarding the duties and scope of rights of department managers from the SPI or the Committee. However, I would like to point out in advance that in no way could I ever accept the function of the department if the provisions of the relevant agreement were to limit the freedom and responsibilities of the department head with regards to scientific matters and included the possibility of interference in these matters by any other parties of the Committee, appointed ad hoc committees, etc. in the course of the head’s duties.
Hence I am asking you to send me the relevant agreement as soon as possible, so that I can assume a position regarding this matter.
8) Notwithstanding what is aforementioned, I would like to note that I have nothing against the publication of the full text of Leibniz’s “Opuscules” by Couturat. However, I thought that due to the fact that Couturat’s edition contains a number of fragments of little importance which deprive the book of its uniformity – e.g. fragments of theological and strictly mathematical nature – it would be advisable to make a certain selection from the texts published by Couturat – especially due to the publishing cost and the purposes of publishing this book in Polish. And that is why I put forward the motion adopted at the July 3 meeting, proposing to perform such a selection. The one I have made is indeed tentative and was only intended to for the purposes of a rough assessment of the volume of the publication, and only the thorough analysis of the content upon translation would show which fragments are necessary in terms of content due to the relationships between them. Establishing this is a matter of scientific cooperation of the department editor with the translator, and the proposal to decide on it in a few hour meeting with people who are not thoroughly acquainted with the work only indicates that the author of this suggestion failed to think the whole matter through.
prof. R. Ingarden