The Mrozek Reader by Slawomir Mrozek, edited by Daniel Gerould / ISBN 9780802140661 / 680-page paperback from Grove Press / discounted copies but in excellent condition (light cover wear)
Slawomir Mrozek has reigned as the pre-eminent playwright and satirist of Eastern Europe for the past half-century. A sharp critic of all oppressive systems during the Cold War, he began his career as a young enthusiast for the new Communist regime in the early 1950s. It didn’t take long, however, until he was deemed such a threat that his work was banned not only in his native Poland, but also in all Eastern bloc countries. After the fall of Communism, he returned home from self imposed exile in the West and was recognized as a major literary figure. This reissue of fourteen plays and ten short stories, along with a sampling of his capricious cartoons, affirms Mro¿ek’s mastery of a wide spectrum of styles, and illustrates the development of his talent over the decades. From the vantage point of the twenty-first century, Mro¿ek’s questioning of authority, his razor-sharp sense of the comic, and his spirit of contradiction seem as fresh, and as relevant, as ever.