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The Lived Experience

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2003

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JAN KOTT was a seminal critical mind of the twentieth century and one of the last of its theatre intellectuals. I mourn him as a friend and colleague. It is now almost half a century since this Polish expatriate first published Shakespeare Our Contemporary, a book that exploded our thinking about how Shakespeare could be produced on stage. It was Kott's habit to urge contemporary parallels on the classics, not through specious updating but through lived experience – in his case, a life under the Nazi occupation and later under Communism.

© 2002 Cambridge University Press