Rhinoceros is a play written by Eugene Ionesco in 1959. He wrote it for The Theater of the Absurd, a style of plays that were popular in the post-World War II era. The playwrights that participated were usually European. The plays were meant to be existential. In Rhinoceros residents of a small French village have … [Read more...] about Rhinoceros
Born in 1909 in Slatina, Romaia Eugene Ionescu was the son of a Romanian father who belonged to an Orthodox Christian church and a French and Romanian mother who was Protestant. They raised him to be an Othodox Christian. Although his date of birth is officially in 1909 he often lied and said he was born in 1912. Not because he wanted to seem younger but because his favorite Romanian playwrite, Caragiale died that year and he wanted his birth day to match.
After spending most of his childhood in France Eugene and his parents moved back to Romania in 1925, shortly after their divorce. He studied at the University of Bucharest and qualified to teach French.
Eugene married Rodica Buileanu in 1936 and had one daughter. In 1938 he took his young family back to France so he could complete his doctorate. When World War II started in 1939 he relocated back to Romania. He and his family were unhappy in Romania at the time and put in to relocate back to France in 1942. Eugene waited out the rest of the war in France. They resided in Marseilles but moved to Paris after it was liberated from the Germans.
Although Eugene was famous for his plays, he also wrote poetry and criticism. He did not write his first play until he was almost forty. It was called the Bald Soprano, a play about a dinner party between two English couples, the Smiths and the Martins, and their nonsensical conversation. Near the end the stage goes black and when the lights come on the play starts over from the beginning with the Smiths reciting the Martins lines and the Martins reciting the Smiths. This play holds the worlds record for being played in the same theater for the longest time.
The idea for the Bald Soprano came because Eugene chose this time to learn English. The method he chose to learn English made him pay close attention to the minutiae of language and how it could be used. He suddenly saw the comedy in the truth of sentences. Most of his plays were what he called anti plays because the showed a comedy and parody of the accepted theatrical forms.
He also wrote one novel, The Hermit, published in 1975. It is a very short work about a sales clerk who inherits money and spends the rest of his days contemplating the human condition.
Eugene Ionesco was of the French Avant-garde theater. In his book "The Theatre of the Absurd," Martin Esslin slipped him into the same category as Samuel Beckett and Arthur Adamov. He admired Dadaists and Surrealists and leaned towards Pataphysics, the science of imaginary solutions.
In March of 1994 at the age of 84 Eugene passed away. He is buried in the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris. On his tomb, in French, is "Pray to the I don't-know-who: Jesus Christ, I hope." During his lifetime Eugene received many prestigious awards including the Austrian State Prize for European Literature.
First performed in 1951. "The Lesson" is a one act play with three characters. There is the Professor, who is mercurial and becomes intimidating as the play progresses. There is the Pupil, a young girl who is studying to take her doctorate exams, and there is the pragmatic Maid. An eighteen year old girl arrives at … [Read more...] about The Lesson
The play "The Chairs" by Eugene Ionesco was written and performed for the first time in 1952 in the Parisian theater Lancry and soon after it was performed it was named as one of the leading works of the avant-garde. As for the style and theme of the play, they follow the ideas from the author’s play "The Bold … [Read more...] about The Chairs
The Bald Soprano
The first play written by the French writer Ionesco was "The Bold Soprano". It was written in 1948 and performed in 1950 in Paris. Today is one of the most performed plays in France, even though the first performance wasn’t a success. The author’s inspiration for this play emerged from his desire to learn the English … [Read more...] about The Bald Soprano