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Poet Tadeusz Rozewicz dies, aged 92

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 24.04.2014 10:56
Tadeusz Rozewicz, one of Poland's most distinguished poets and playwrights, has died in Wroclaw aged 92.

Tadeusz Rozewicz. Photo: PAP/Piotr Polak

Rozewicz came from a highly artistic family, his younger brother Stanislaw (d. 2008) was a leading Polish film director, while his elder brother Janusz, also a poet, was shot by the Gestapo during the war.

All three brothers served in Poland's Home Army (AK), the WWII underground force that was loyal to the Polish government-in-exile in London.

Czeslaw Milosz, the late Nobel Prize-winner, described Rozewicz as “the most talented among those who began to publish immediately after 1945.

“By contrasting the scenes of war that he had witnessed with the entire heritage of European culture, he arrived at a negation of literature because it seemed to be no more than a lie covering up the horror of man's brutality to his fellow man,” Milosz wrote.

Rozewicz later became a key figure in Poland's 'Theatre of the Absurd', as exemplified by his best known play, the 1961 Personal File (Kartoteka).

Several decades later in 2001, the UK's Time Out concluded that the play “is so startlingly modern, so challenging and so relentlessly hilarious it makes you wonder what writers - and audiences, of course - have been doing in the theatre for the last 40 years.”

Rozewicz occasionally wrote screenplays for films, and he continued to publish poetry into his nineties.

He was the 2007 winner of the Prix Européen de Littérature, among many other international and Polish honours. (nh)

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