Profesor Jacek Kolbuszewski
To Jacek Kolbuszewski from the Editors
Professor Jacek Kolbuszewski — an eminent historian of literature and culture, a scholar exploring the subject of the mountains and author of numerous publications devoted to it monographs, papers, articles, founder and first editor-in-chief of the Góry — Literatura — Kultura [Mountains — Literature — Culture] periodical, a mountaineer in his youth – received the prestigious Władysław Krygowski Literary Prize on his 75th birthday 10 May 2013, Zakopane. In a speech in praise of the Honouree, Wiesław Aleksander Wójcik, a representative of the Editorial Committee of Wierchy, a periodical granting the prize, said:
In 1999 the Board of the Polish Tourism and Sightseeing Society decided to honour the memory of Władysław Krygowski — an outstanding man of the mountains, writer and poet, long-time editor-in-chief of Wierchy, as well as a leading PTSS activist — by establishing a literary prize bearing his name. The prize is awarded annually to people who have rendered great services to Polish culture in the field of broadly defined mountain writing. The duties of the prize jury were delegated to the Wierchy Editorial Committee. The Committee decided to award the 2011 Krygowski Literary Prize to Professor JACEK KOLBUSZEWSKI, an outstanding researcher, literature and culture scholar, the most eminent Polish expert on mountain-themed literature, a distinguished editor of works that have become classics of the Polish mountain literary canon, a scholar studying Slavic and Baltic literatures and, finally, a versatile man of the mountains — brilliant expert, mountaineer, skier and tourist.
Born in 1938 in Poznań, Professor Jacek Kolbuszewski came to the Podhale region for the first time as an eight-year-old boy, accompanied by his mother and elder sister, in the summer of 1846. From that moment the Tatra Mountains and the Podhale region became an important part of his private and professional life. It is no coincidence that he devoted his doctoral dissertation to the Tatra Mountains. The dissertation, entitled The aesthetic function of the Tatra motif in 19th century Polish literature written under the guidance of Prof. Stefan Kawyn and approved as the basis for his degree in 1965, which was printed for the first time in 1971 and then, in a much extended version, was published in 1982 in Kraków under the title of The Tatra Mountains in Polish Literature 1805–1939. The number of Jacek Kolbuszewski’s works dealing with the mountains is so vast that it would be difficult to list here even a small selection of them. It must be stressed at the same time that Professor Jacek Kolbuszewski, a historian of Polish literature and Western Slavic literatures, has devoted quite a few scholarly papers to the presence of the Tatra Mountains in Slovak literature and culture. However, in his academic work he has been focused not only on the Tatra Mountains but also on other mountain ranges, including the Pieniny range, the Sudetes and the Alps; in many cases he wrote pioneering works on them. It is worth mentioning at least some of these publications: “Pieniny góry romantyczne” [“The Pieniny — a romantic mountain range”] Czasopismo Zakładu Narodowego im. Ossolińskich, 1996, issue 10; Krajobraz i kultura. Sudety w literaturze i kulturze polskiej [Landscape and Culture. The Sudetes in Polish Literature and Culture] Katowice 1985; “Alpy polskich romantyków. Prolegomena” [“The Alps of the Polish Romantics. A prolegomena”] Przestrzenie i krajobrazy, 1994; “Zapomniany polski przekład Albrechta von Hallera Die Alpen” [“A forgotten Polish translation of Albrecht von Haller’s Die Alpen”] Góry — Literatura — Kultura 5, 2010.
In addition, Professor Kolbuszewski has written popular science books greatly enjoyed by readers interested in the mountains, including Góry takie kamienne. Szkice o górach i ludziach [Such Stony Mountains. On Mountains and People] Warszawa 1972; Skarby Króla Gregoriusa. O poszukiwaczach skarbów w XVII i XVIII wieku [King Gregorius’ Treasures. On Treasure Hunting in the 17th and 18th Centuries] Katowice 1972; Dziwne podróże, dziwni podróżnicy [Strange Travels, Strange Travellers] Warszawa 1977.
Professor Kolbuszewski’s achievements with regard to the development andpromotion of mountain studies are associated with his long-time collaboration with the Municipal Public Library in Zakopane, where for many years he gave lectures during the famous “Literary Thursdays,” and with the Wierchy Editorial Committee, in the work of which he began to participate actively in 1973, serving as its chairman in 1983–2010.
In 1996 Professor Jacek Kolbuszewski set up a series called Góry — Literatura — Kultura [Mountains — Literature — Culture], which was initially a continuous series of Acta Universitatis Wratislaviensis. Four volumes were published under Professor Kolbuszewski as the editor of the series, which with its volume 5 2010 was transformed into a regular annual periodical. The current formula of the periodical draws directly on and continues the work started by its founder, who continues to actively collaborate with it, not only submitting his own articles, but also supporting the editorial team with his experience and invaluable advice, often helping to solve difficult issues.
Wishing Professor Kolbuszewski many years of good health and constant satisfaction with his work, especially when it comes to promoting the knowledge of the mountains — an activity that signifi cantly contributes to making society more sensitive to the value and beauty of nature — the editorial team of Góry — Literatura — Kultura has decided to dedicate volumes 7 and 8 of the periodical to him. Both volumes contain papers and dissertations submitted by numerous Polish and foreign authors, who thus wanted to express their gratitude to and highest respect for Professor Kolbuszewski.