Letter to Władysław Tatarkiewicz written 18.03.1959

Roman Ingarden
Cracow, Biskupia 14,

Cracow, 18/3/1959


Dear Władysław,

                       I couldn’t tell you this orally today, because it’s too regrettable for me, so I’m permitting myself to tell you what I think now in written form.

            I looked through your new edition of the History of Philosophy and I regret to say that it does not contain any changes as far as my academic achievements (compared to 1950), although you surely know how much my position in European philosophy has changed over the intervening years. Of course, I did not dare to dream that you’d expand the text dedicated to me (for here, Polish personal politics has played a decisive role for many years, although it has long seemed strange to me that my entire life’s work can be found in 32 lines, whereas one of Ajdukiewicz’s articles occupies 38), but I didn’t think you’d mind filling out the bibliography of my works. Meanwhile, nothing has changed in this respect. Of my approximately 140 works ‒ including eight books, 10 volumes, and 27 dissertations, etc. ‒ two books were mentioned in the text, and one in the bibliography ‒ twelve works overall, not even ten per cent. At the same time, certain works of mine which probably should have been mentioned, especially since there was a place where the pages in question were reprinted, were not added, i.e. my paper on Aristotle’s Poetics, or my paper on the subject of the history of philosophy, even though it is a response to your article, which is cited twice. What is more, two of my son’s papers were attributed to me (both of the papers he wrote in this field). In the paragraph in which Polish aesthetic philosophers are discussed, my name does not appear at all, even though there is e.g. the name of Blaustein, who was my student, etc.

            I’m very sorry that it has happened like this. I’m aware that for many years there has been an agreement in Poland to maintain a consistent silence regarding my achievements and my position in the world. I was expecting, though, that through citing a greater number of the titles of my works, this would be at least marginally redressed. I would have willingly provided materials if you had wanted them.

                                                                              I send a cordial handshake