Gosh, I can't believe this. I had such a realistic dream. Or nightmare? That I was back in Kraków, proposing them to make a serious department of Portuguese & Lusophone studies.
The old country is as good as lost now. The party is even more popular in the opinion pulls. I'm striving to understand what is the reason why the History happens. How is it possible that someone comes and says openly he will wipe away whatever happened in Poland since 1990 to 2015, just wipe it clean -- and he is on the shortest way to win the elections. For a long time, I thought it is an invisible Russian invasion, that they obviously strive to reconquer the satellite territories they had lost in 1989. Now I am no longer sure about it. Well, this is also something I believed for a long time, to be honest: that the change that happens is fully autonomous. We just spontaneously return to the orbit of the civilisation where we belong. Nothing but Huntington made real. We had received Christianity from the Czechs, and that makes us use Latin script, but it doesn't mean we have ever been Western Europeans. And certainly, we have never been on the top of the planet. Never had colonial empires, and have no excellent universities now. These facts are connected. Excellent university is produced by colonial knowledge, by the strive to power that colonial knowledge gives. That's the urge of exploration. It creates a relationship with the world. While in Poland, national culture is the only thing that really matters. And no one would understand why I feel what I feel every time I pass in front of that decent professorial house, painted in white, with the words "Snouck Hurgronje" written on the lintel of the door. What kind of binding obligation it creates for me.
I have felt truly attached to the Jagiellonian University; it explains why I still have that kind of dreams (nightmares), even now, when the cosmic order returns to its eternal configuration and the gravity pulls us back to the old orbit. But I was an alien element there, and it is not realistic to expect they will ever ask me to organise their department of Portuguese & Lusophone studies, no matter what roads the History takes. Now I feel truly attached to the University of Leiden, that little piece of swamp that deserves so well to be defended. My presence here deserves to be defended. As one of Europe's hidden treasures.
I don't know where I've read that anecdote dating back from 1914, about an old lady asking an Oxford student why he is not on the front defending the civilisation. -- Dear Madam, the student answered, I am the civilisation they strive to defend.