Eugene Ionesco

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Ionesco, Eugene


Born Nov. 26, 1912, in Slatina, Rumania. French playwright. One of the founders of the modern theater of the absurd. Member of the French Academy (1970). Rumanian by origin. Resident of France since 1938.

In his early grotesque farces and allegories that parodied the alogism of language clichés and the automatism of stereotyped philistine thinking, Ionesco turned typical everyday situations inside out and gave them a buffoon-like incongruous cast (The Bald Soprano, staged 1950, published 1953; The Chairs, staged 1952, published 1954; and Amédéé, or How to Get Rid of It, staged and published 1954).

In his later parable plays, Ionesco tried to switch from criticism of insipid language and conformist consciousness to criticism of bureaucratic totalitarianism and fascist degradation of the bourgeois philistine. However, the social evil with which the individualist-loner clashed acquired a metaphysical aspect in Ionesco’s works (The Killer, staged and published 1958; Rhinoceros, published 1959; and A Stroll in the Air, staged and published 1963, Russian translation 1967). Exit the King (published 1963) interwove tragic variations of death motifs with a satire on dictatorship in general.

In later plays, the reality that formerly had been satirized was replaced by capricious phantasmagoria. Ionesco’s confusion and gloom deepened, reducing the playwright to a reiteration of decadent themes (Thirst and Hunger, staged and published 1966, and Macbett, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, 1972). His publicistic works became limited to bitter carping on the way the world is organized and to hysterical attacks against the socialist camp.


Théâtre, [vols.] 1–4. Paris [1954–66].
La Photo du colonel. Paris, 1962.
Notes et contre-notes. Paris, 1966.
In Russian translation:
Nosorog. Postscript by N. Naumov. Inostrannaia Literatura, 1965, no. 9.
Gnev. In Iskusstvo kino, 1966, no. 9.
Khameleon pastukha. In Voprosy Hteratury, 1969, no. 8.


Boiadzhiev, G. Teatral’nyi Parizh segodnia. [Moscow] 1960.
Mikheeva, A. Kogda po stsene khodiat nosorogi… Teatr absurda E Ionesko. Moscow, 1967.
Proskurnikova, T. B. Frantsuzskaia antidrama (50–60-e gody). Moscow, 1968.
Benmussa, S. Eugène Ionesco. Paris, 1966.
Donnard, J. H. Ionesco dramaturge ou Tartisan et le démon. Paris, 1966.
Serreau, G. Histoire du “nouveau théâtre.” Paris, 1966.
Théâtre français d’aujourd’hui, [vols.] 1–2 (Compilation, introductory article, and biographical data on writers by L. Zonina.) [Moscow] 1969.
Revzina, O. G., and I. I. Revzin. “Semioticheskii eksperiment na stsene.” Uch. zap. Tartuskogo un-ta, 1971, issue 5.
References in periodicals archive ?
Anche se l'opera teatrale del grande drammaturgo Eugene Ionesco e tempestivamente disponibile in traduzione italiana, Teatro I, edito nel 1961 dalla Casa Editrice torinese, Einaudi, le traduzioni e la critica sulla sua opera, in Italia, sono poche e tardive, in confronto alla fama di cui gia godeva l'autore in Francia e in molti altri paesi.
This phenomenon could be widely seen among authors of many nations, especially those from Lebanon, Algeria, Ireland, and Morocco, from Katib Yassin to the Irish author Samuel Beckett, Romanian Eugene Ionesco, and Czech Milan Kundera.
Sin duda, te sientes mucho mas cerca de Eugene Ionesco (1909-1970) y has hablado, en relacion con su obra El rinoceronte (editada por Alianza en su version teatral y por Abada en su version narrativa), de una "rinocerontizacion" de Rumania.
Perhaps Eugene Ionesco has probed as deeply as any playwright the conflict between being and non-being in a number of its manifestations.
Prvni manifest pro paradoxism byly vydavany v Smarandache ma 1983 francouzske knihy "Le sens du nonsmysl" (smysl pro non-smysl), vydani Artistiques, Fes, Maroko, ktery byl ocenen Eugene Ionesco.
Non, with its ferocious criticism of Romanian literati, presages the tragicomical playwright, novelist and journal-writer, Eugene Ionesco.
Widely acquainted with international figures such as Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Erik Satie, Man Ray and Peggy' Guggenheim, he nevertheless remained close to fellow Romanian exiles, including the playwright Eugene Ionesco, throughout his life.
Last among the vices is "Sloth: Don't Lose Heart," which Bazyn sees not only in terms of laziness but as a kind of nihilism found in the plays of Eugene Ionesco and the novels of Jean-Paul Sartre.
Su primera irrupcion en escena fue estruendosa: a los 6 anos de edad, una tarde en que su tio el director de teatro Luis de Tarifa supervisaba el ensayo general de Macbett, de Eugene Ionesco, Marina de Tavira Servitje --8a nieta del zar de Bimbo, el octogenario Lorenzo Servitje Sendra-- trepo al techo del foro, un domo de vidrio, para espiar el espectaculo, que le habian prohibido sus mayores porque incluia escenas de sexo y violencia, La chiquilla siguio absorta la accion hasta que el vidrio se rompio y ella cayo de los cielos como angelito sobre los hombros del protagonista.
Bing Xin, Daphne Du Maurier, Italo Calvino, Eugene Ionesco, Julio
Earlier this century writers like Tristzan Zara and Eugene Ionesco were part of the European literary avant-garde.
His vision, however, was a major influence on the plays of Jean Genet, Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, and others and on the entire movement away from the dominant role of language and rationalism in contemporary theater.