Marek J. Siemek: LAUDATIO ON THE RENEWAL OF LESZEK KOŁAKOWSKI’S PH.D. AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW
Marek J. Siemek LAUDATIO ON THE RENEWAL OF LESZEK KOŁAKOWSKI’S PH.D. AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW Norwid’s poem, In a Diary, features a speaker who, looking at himself in the mirror of time, realizes that what he used to think of as his is in fact merely bor- rowed from his ancestors and tradition. 15 From you, as from burning chips of resin Fiery fragments circle far and near: Ablaze, you don’t know if you are to be free. Or if all that is yours will disappear. 16 Will only ashes remain and confusion Whirling into the void?—or will there shine Amidst the ash a starlight diamond, The dawning of eternal victory! Cyprian Kamil Norwid, W pamiętniku […]: 15, 16 Your Magnificence, Mr. Dean, Dear Professor, Our eminent Laureate hardly needs introducing to the here-gathered members of our University community, government representatives and delegates from other Warsaw academic schools. We all are well aware that professor Kołakowski is one of the most eminent personages in the 20th-century Polish philosophy and humanities, a fact also mentioned by his honourable reviewers: professor Barbara Skarga, professor Jan Andrzej Kłoczowski and professor Krzysztof Michalski. Let us mention here the most important and most prestigious of the many distinctions awarded to professor Kołakowski: first and foremost the John Kluge Prize, a unique humanities “Nobel Prize” awarded since recently by the US Congress Library, whose first laureate he was. Also noteworthy are the coveted German Booksellers’ Peace Prize, the European Essay...
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