At a given stage of academic career, roughly when the full professorship is achieved, there are no further requirements to fulfil, no formal itinerary to follow. This is the moment when each of us must start building one's own ladder, if he or she wants to climb higher. Actually, few people do. A vast majority just content themselves with the position they achieved, publishing some things in the spirit of "business as usual". It was not like this in my life, to a degree also for reasons beyond my control, such as the decadence, not only political, but also social and cultural, of my country under the leadership of the "Law and Justice" party. This is why I resigned from my university position even before I could actually experience the soothing effect of my full professorship. I came on purpose from the Netherlands only to formally receive my nomination from the President of the Republic. I came to Warsaw on that day in fear that the gesture of not doing so might be treated as some sort of provocation, and left the feast in the Presidential palace as soon as it was polite to do so. I took my way back to Leiden, and it was at that moment that my predicament began, the predicament of an East-European scholar in the greater world of international scholarship. So fragile was the boat, so vast was the ocean. Certainly, from then on, I have been building my own ladder to an academic stance that corresponds to no post and no degree whatsoever. My target is that of writing books that last, insightful essays, artfully composed from all those elements that I have gathered on the way. Paintings in rich and intense colours. I have been a careful reader of various and dissimilar authors, Eliade, Steiner, Safranski, Derrida, and specially Agamben to learn my art from them. I am still in the middle of the way, but this is where I try to climb with my ladder still under construction. This is a work that is constantly engaging the future tense. The fulfilment is only to be found in the last paragraph on the last page of the book to come. For people who think in standard academic categories, there is no point to develop this extensive drop-down menu that appears on this website under the heading "Research & Projects". Having ten or twelve fields of specialisation will not grant me any academic job, will not even cause admiration among my colleagues; rather, a dismissive reaction is to be expected. Jack of all trades, but master of none... Meanwhile, cultivating such a vast a garden makes sense for an intellectual. Each one of my little fields brings fruits and flowers that make colours for my art, give a handful of tesserae for my broad mosaic. Not that of an academic discipline, even as large in its definition as comparative literature, but something totally different, that takes its material shape in books that librarians, not knowing what to do with them, put in the general literature section. Books that bring about a deeper insight and a vaster, more encompassing understanding. I constantly meet people who think this is nothing but a megalomaniac dream. Daily, I pay the price of great discomforts that I could easily avoid, were I a simple university professor in Lusophone studies, somewhere in Poland. But there is certainly a prize to take, perhaps even the prize of non omnis moriar, and the truth is that I can simply permit myself to join such a venture, not for my talent, but for my patience, resilience, adaptability, readiness to live on the way and to accept those dismissive attitudes and contempt of my colleagues, so full of their academic prestige, position, importance that they appear to my eyes as giant toads of a nightmare lived in broad daylight. Certainly, it is also a beautiful life of sudden insights and moments of enlightenment. I do appreciate academic excellence when it comes with true erudition, because it fosters synergy, it helps to find the place for every piece of the puzzle in the vast outlook I search for. It leads to qualitative difference. On my way back from a lecture on Persian poetry in Leiden, I see Fernando Pessoa's Antinous under a novel light. Erudition is a synergistic mechanism put in motion as I circle between my various fields of research. What I have in mind is a model of scholarly creativity, in which novel views are issued from the exploration of non-obvious connections, intertwined in a way that is both inventive and particularly complex. To get this richness of tissue, a vast outlook is a prerequisite, contradicting the usual accent on specialisation in a well-defined discipline, sometimes even a single topic, that predominates in the academia. Certainly, I am in great need of being well-informed, since only a deep insight into the matter enables me to bring forth non-obvious source materials and develop them convincingly, giving a consistence to my endeavour. The novel insights I am searching for result essentially from an ingenious way of integrating those materials, but without a solid knowledge at the starting point, the outcome will be inconsistent. On various occasions, I have committed the error of relying on intuitions. Good university libraries help me to avoid this danger. Just like music, this kind of intellectual work I am doing is based on leitmotivs, certain ideas or unanswered questions that appear over and over again, on each occasion under a novel light. The human beyond the frontiers of the cultural. Man as the maker and transgressor of culture, striving to achieve the extracultural condition of absolute authenticity and absolute expression. The extracultural becoming as a liberation. The crushing burden of the extracultural insight. The emergence of a new level of complexity resulting from the superposition of various cultural codes under globalised conditions. The idea of multidimensional symbolic space. Silence, mystical enlightenment and pre-lapsarian language without culture. Those keywords may be idiolectal for now, but one day they will become parts of the standard language of the humanities, such as the idiolects of Deleuze, Derrida or Agamben became the language we speak today, often without a sounder understanding of what we are saying. This is the way how these things are done.