Taking pride of place above Professor Gibińska's desk was a photograph of her seminar group: a merry gang of bright-eyed young people surrounding their teacher beaming with perfect contentment. On the same shelf, a row of other photographs: Professor Gibińska's university friends, from home and abroad; above and below, a colourful display of New Year's cards, invitations, greetings and congratulations notes. On the desk, stacks of books, folders and papers. Bookmarked volumes – on Shakespearean criticism, translation, comparative literature, linguistics, theory of drama, theatre and film studies – in constant rearrangement. As a rule, a volume of contemporary poetry – the latest Szymborska, say, often left open, cover up, mid-poem, when it was time to rush for another meeting at the Dean's office or to drive back home to Katowice. Serving as paperweight for the most urgent documents, reports and reviews – a flat hand-painted stone. And a small ceramic box for miniature sweets with the picture of a little angel on the lid, prompting: have the patience of a saint! This is what Professor Gibińska's desk used to look like for the many years that the Institute of English Philology was located in Collegium Paderevianum. That desk saw scores of her friends, colleagues and students grateful for the friendly welcome, the invaluable insight, the attentiveness and advice.
This volume is a collection of articles written for Professor Marta Gibińska by her colleagues and friends, as an expression of their gratitude and joy of knowing her in the years of her dedicated work at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.