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A Note of Gratitude

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2024

Jolanta Dudek
Affiliation:
Jagiellonian University, Krakow
Andrzej Juszczyk
Affiliation:
Jagiellonian University, Krakow
Joanna Skolik
Affiliation:
Uniwersytet Opolski
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Summary

My contacts with Professor Zdzisław Najder have been of three kinds: faceto- face encounters, correspondence, and readings. Since I am a US resident (from 1988), my personal meetings with prof. Najder were but a few, on the occasion of Joseph Conrad conferences in Vancouver (2003), Opole and Kraków (2004), and Amsterdam (2005). When I had the honor of meeting prof. Najder for the first time (in Vancouver), I was at the initial stage of working on my doctoral thesis. After being introduced to prof. Najder I was struck by his kindness in showing genuine interest in my work. I guess every student knows what a great encouragement it is to meet an expert in the field you study and have him or her talk to you about your work, as if you were their equal! That wa s a great encouragement. That is what I remember the most: the handshake and prof. Najder's kind, polite interest in my work.

Then there followed the encounters of the second kind, the email correspondence. That exchange was specific because prof. Najder had kindly agreed to be on my dissertation committee. I called my advisor, prof. Donald Marshall, then the Head of the English Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, “I got Najder on my committee!” For me it was a great joy and honor. Prof. Marshall was happy to engage Zdzisław Najder's exquisite expertise in guiding me through the thickets of the things Conradian. As for Professor Najder, I am sure for him all that meant extra work! There followed endless drafts, wandering chapter after chapter through the cyberspace. The chapters always came back full of yellow highlights, diligent corrections, comments. There are simply no words to express my gratitude for this. Ironically, the timing of my thesis defense fell at the time when Professor Najder could not have taken the trip from Poland to the United States. By my University's regulations every member of the committee, all five of them, had to be physically present during the defense. Hence prof. Marshall was unable formally to put prof. Najder's name in the required paperwork. But in fact Professor Zdzisław Najder had generously supported me throughout the entire process of my writing the doctoral thesis.

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Publisher: Jagiellonian University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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