WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's dissident playwright Slawomir Mrozek, considered by many to be one of Poland's greatest writers for the stage, was buried in a state ceremony in southern Poland on Tuesday.
People waited in the rain in the southern historic city of Krakow, where Mrozek's career began, to sign a condolence book. Then, a hearse drawn by two black horses took the metal urn to its resting place at St. Peter and Paul church. The funeral Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was personal secretary of the late Pope John Paul II.
President Bronislaw Komorowski awarded posthumously Mrozek the Grand Cross of the Order of Poland's Rebirth in recognition of his contribution to Poland's culture.
Mrozek made his name with surrealist plays, notably the 1964 "Tango," which slyly ridiculed communism. The convoluted form protected Mrozek from censorship and allowed for his works to be staged in Poland.
Some critics saw "Tango" is a contemporary "Hamlet" in which the son revolts against the values of his parents. It also shows how unscrupulous, brutal force seizes power at a time of a clash between different systems of values.
"Tango" and some of his other plays including "Striptease" and "Out at Sea" were staged in London and Off Broadway and were ranked along with the works of French dramatist Eugene Ionesco.
A communist party member at first, Mrozek was stripped of his passport after criticizing Poland's participation in the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia.
He lived in Italy, France and Mexico, before returning to Poland in 1996.
Mrozek died Aug. 15 in Nice, France, where he moved in 2008. He is survived by his second wife, Susana Osorio-Mrozek.
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