– I invite you to the 100th anniversary! – with these words prof. Stanisław Żak. Distinguished literary scholar and journalist turns 90 this year. Witold Gombrowicz held a ceremonial meeting in Kielce at the Provincial People’s Library on Wednesday to mark his birthday.
It was an opportunity to remember the professor’s profile and achievements. This information was included both in the presentations and in the definitions given in honor of the anniversary by Dr. Józef Płarańka.
A humble and hardworking man
“For all of us here, this is an important moment for our relationship with you, dear Jubilee, for many years, for many years,” he said. – It is a great honor for all of us that in our way of life we have met such a prominent person, a person who creates confidence around himself, unites more than divides, embodies politeness and civic courage. You, dear Jubilee, are a unique example of the unity of exceptional intellect and human kindness, but also a humble and hardworking person. Prof. Stanislaw Żak is a well-known humanist in Poland and Europe, a highly respected professor of literature, and in particular an expert on the life and work of Jan Kochanowski. He is also a valuable educator, educator of many generations of Polish philologists, – said Joseph Płarańka.
He is also a prof. Stanisław Żak was very busy with social and political activities:
– The real dimension of a scientist is always his attitude and service to the people. The 1980s brought the professor a special social responsibility. Stanisław Żak participated in the establishment of the “Solidarity” Trade Union at Kielce Pedagogical University. He was very strong and successful in establishing the Catholic Intellectuals Club in Kielce. He was interned on December 13, 1981. In total, 10 months left. After leaving the Internationale, he became very involved in clandestine activities, especially legal activities. He and his wife were active members of the Bishop’s Relief Committee. In 1989, he was elected senator for the first term of the Senate of the Republic of Poland. He also held this position during his second term, he said.
Polish education again and the same girl again
The definitions also include references to the professor’s family.
– A worthy Jubilee is an exemplary husband, grandfather and great-grandfather in his personal life, but above all, he is a person who preaches the message of God in word and deed, and is respected by all those who have the honor to meet him. their way of life, work with him, make friends (…) We wish you the best, dear Jubilarian, thank you for passing on your lifestyle to all of us. Be successful for the rest of your life! Continue to build trust and friendship around you. Don’t forget to invite us to your 100th anniversary! – Dr. Józef Płarańka concluded.
Referring to the words spoken about him, prof. Stanisław Żak admitted that he had met many good, kind people who thought he had a better future.
– There were people who absolutely wanted me to become a priest, a doctor, a lawyer, an art critic. I became a philologist. And there was a girl who wanted me to be her husband, so I took a risk and I seemed to understand. I can say with full consciousness and honestly that if I had to decide again, I would choose Polish education and marry the same girl again. Why? Because the study of literature gives a very broad aspect to life, Polish studies, or more broadly the humanities, creates a need for nobility, humanization, the acquisition, study and implementation of values in the world around us. We are talking about moral and aesthetic values, he explained.
Literature comes first
In an interview with Radio Kielce, the professor explained that literature is the most important of all areas of his life.
– Because it is a professional interest, but only. Because as I read, I read for a purpose. “Every book I read and read is a great pleasure, and I go back to some of them, and these other things somehow complement each other,” he said.
Recently, the professor’s attention has been focused on the works of Wieslaw Myśliwski. He has just finished publishing about the writer. He emphasizes that he is more interesting than Vitold Gombrovich, who also worked hard.
– It is interesting, it is difficult to imagine that you can write like that. I was awarded an honorary doctorate in Wislaw Myśliwski in Krakow. He is a writer who is not attached to any school, no fashion, he has technique, style and, above all, language. In addition, he is fascinated by peasant culture, ie the first culture and the first language. Because, as he wrote in his essay, he explained what the peasant said, not to name it, but to determine its place and use in everyday life.
Witold Gombrowicz, many people came to Kielce for the anniversary meeting at the People’s Library of the year. Former Kielce president Wojciech Lubawski said it was his job.
– He made a great contribution to the development of this city. I remember when he was a senator he was active so that we could be seen on the map of Poland. When I was president, prof. Stanisław Żak was in such a seven-member cultural advisory body. It was a very good meeting, and often decisions were made after discussions. But Stanislav is just a good person, that’s the most important thing – he stressed.
Dr. Jan Glovka, former director of the Kielce Museum of History, recalled that they had met Professor Stanislaw Żak for many years, but the culmination of this acquaintance was a joint work on the book. History of Kielce
– “For centuries Kielce” – was a great collaboration, worked well with the professor, and thanks to him, this work was published. These contacts were not limited to material issues. You could always talk to the professor and joke, and all I could say in one sentence was that the professor was a wonderful person.
Andrzej Mochoń, President of Targi Kielce, recalled a certain situation in which he also participated in the anniversary.
– After the military situation, it was in 1987 or 1988. Professor Stanisław Żak and I were humble employees of Kielce Pedagogical University. There was a meeting of the PZPR university committee, and we were called by name that Mr. Mochon and Mr. Jak were anti-socialist forces who should not work at the socialist university. I also have fond memories of the professor – he joked.
“For me to read and write”
Zita Trich, president of the Friends of Fine Arts Society, recalled that years ago she was afraid of the professor and his harsh assessment of literary activity. Today he speaks gratefully of Stanislaw Żak.
“He is a very famous and loved man, and I personally appreciate him,” he said.
Prof. Krzysztof Bracha – historian, medieval historian admitted that as a young listener, he was a professor. Stanisław Żak.
– As for the history of literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, he is one of the greatest luminaries of Polish science, one of the greatest in our region. It’s great that we still have a relationship with him and it will be as long as possible, “he said.
Many congratulations came during this meeting. And what does prof. Stanisław Żak?
– I wish I was in the form I am now, I could read more and still be able to write. I wish nothing more, that is, I wish myself good health, he said.
At the end of the official part of the match, Schola Cantorum Kielcensis played “Plurimos annos”.
The event was organized by the Club of Catholic Intellectuals in Kielce, the Wesoła 54 Association and the Provincial People’s Library. Witold Gombrowicz in Kielce.