Tadeusz Różewicz

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Date and place of birth: 1921, Radomsk, Poland

Living place: Wroclaw, Poland

Theme: literature

ECC Participation: Honorary Committee

photo: Tomasz Stańczak / Agencja Gazeta

Tadeusz Różewicz has lived in Wrocław for 30 years. He is a precursor of the avant-garde in poetry and drama, an innovator, albeit one whose work displays strong ties to the Romantic tradition. As an artist, Różewicz is independent; a solitary poet who perceives the mission of the artist to be a state of internal concentration. His work is known for its aesthetic straightforwardness, essentiality, and its use of short-cuts.

Różewicz’s poetry expresses the tragedy of the solitary individual, lost in the post-war world haunted by the specter of mass death, cruelty, indifference, and civilizational uniformity. The characters in his poems suffer the threat of breakdown and chaos.

“Politics will become kitsch, love will become pornography, music will become noise, sports will become prostitution, religion will become science, and science will become faith.”

The form of drama created by Różewicz is highly original, almost distinct from all others, although many perceive in it the influence of the Paris avant-garde and the Theater of the Absurd (Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco). His work contains autobiographical elements as well, and has a grounding in the Polish tradition.

His published works include the books Anxiety, The Open Poem, and Mother Departs, the plays The Card Index, The Card Index Scattered, and Mariage Blanc, and the short story collection Excursion to a Museum. He has been translated and published in numerous countries (his books have appeared in English, French, German, Serbian, Swedish, Danish, and Finnish).

He has received dozens of awards and distinctions, including the European Literary Award in Strasbourg, the PEN Club Award, the Silesius Award, and the Gloria Artis medal.

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