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Ireneusz Iredynski

Playwright Ireneusz Iredynski is a renown contemporary Polish dramatist. Born in Stanislawow, Poland, he was raised by his grandmother and aunt after most of his family perished in World War II, only to run away at the age of 16. His first collection of short stories, "Day of a Cheat," was published in 1954.  Stanislaw Lem, Poland's renown author of science-fiction tales has compared him to Dostoyevski.

One of Iredynski's plays Farewell Judas, has been translated into English by Sylvia Daneel, the paly has been produced by the New Polish Theatre in Arlington, VA. As the curtain rises two men are seen, one lying down reading some kind of "philosophy," the other sitting nearby. They are Judas and John and they discuss a mysterious "Chief" and their participation in a secret organization. In a moment Peter arrives and accuses Judas of betrayal. He refuses to accept that the name does not mandate betrayal. Like a functionary of the Inquisition, he refuses to believe anybody or anything. The tortured Judas continues to deny. The arrival of the police puts an end to the tortures and in the ensuing shootout Paul is killed while John makes himself scarce. Talking to the Commissioner, Judas betrays where the Chief can be found and receives a sum of money for the information. Later he returns to the site of his crime and pangs of conscience cause him to take his own life. The tale is as actual as today's headlines about the madness of terrorism, about hiding, conspiring and, in spite of the terrible odds, loving. Translated into English where it was directed by Ms. Daneel.

Iredynski's literary skill was as legendary as his activism.  He was imprisoned in 1960 for opposing Poland's Communist regime. It was a decisive moment in his creative work, which became focused on the pathological dimensions of human existence, the disintegration of love, and the struggle between good and evil.  "Prison changed me forever," said Iredynski, "everything inside of me got rearranged, broken-up."   The manipulation of the downtrodden through violence and coercion, and man's quest forfreedom are recurring themes in his work.  Considered his best play, "Farewell Judas" was first produced at Schauspielhouse in Zurich, Switzerland.  Finally in 1971 Polish director Konrad Swinarski presented it to critical acclaim at Krakow's Teatr Stary. His plays, now translated into several languages are frequently produced. Iredynski died tragically in 1985 at age 46.

His filmography include screenwriting credits for several films: Alone in the City (1965), The Cardiogram (1971), The Anatomy of Love (1972), and Pedestrian Subway (1973). The latter, a Kieslowski film made for televison, is based on a short story by Iredynski.