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Playwright Slawomir Mrożek dies

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 15.08.2013 14:11
Slawomir Mrozek, Poland’s internationally-renowned playwright, has died in Nice at the age of 83.

Slawomir Mrozek: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel.

He had lived in southern France, with his Mexican wife, since 2008 after spending many years outside Poland, having first emigrated during the communist-era in 1963.

Following the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, Mrożek wrote a protest letter and fell foul of the Polish regime, making his return difficult.

Having lived in France for 22 years, he then moved to Italy, the United States, Germany and Mexico.

He returned to Poland in 1996 and lived in Krakow for several years.

Mrożek’s best-known plays are The Tango, The Emigrees, The Ambassador and Love in the Crimea.

Three years ago, Penguin published a collection of his satirical short stories, The Elephant, written in 1957, about life in Poland under a totalitarian system.

President of the Polish PEN club, Adam Pomorski, has told the Polish Press Agency that Mrozek’s death marks an end of an era in the history of Polish literature.

“He was no doubt one of the greatest Polish writers of the twentieth century,” he said.

In a recent interview Mrozek said that despite a long period spent outside Poland, the Polish language has never become dead for him.

“This is what makes me happy and proud,” Mrozek said.

Professor Zbigniew Mikołejko, however, has told Polish Radio, however, that his decision to emigrate from Poland “destroyed him as a writer; he could not be a writer outside Poland”. (mk/pg)

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