See also: Ionesco
Eugene Ionesco (born Eugen Ionescu with Slatina, Romania the November 26th 1909 - and died with Paris the March 28th 1994) is a Dramatic author and writer French of Rumanian origin . Co-opted satrap of the College of' Pataphysique in 1957, elected with the French Academy in 1970, he is a representative of the Theater of the absurd.
When one evokes today the name of Eugene Ionesco, one thinks initially of his theater and the vagueness of dramatic innovation of the post-war period which accompanies it. One thinks as, almost immediately, with the Professional singer bald person and with the Lesson , as the Théâtre of Huchette did not cease playing since 1957. Generic terms then come us to mind, like the “” (Martin Esslin, 1961) or “theater theater of the absurd of derision” (Emmanuel Jacquart, 1974). Lastly, an object remains, intended to help work to resist time: the complete Theater of Ionesco, published by the Gallimard Editions in prestigious the Library of the Pleiad. Thus devoted by the edition of its dramatic texts in a luxurious and scientific patrimonial collection, Ionesco could enjoy, during the last years of its life, the rare privilege to be able to pride itself to belong to the Pantheon of the Letters.
But which had been able to say in 1938 that the young critic Rumanian, author of Non , which rejected the theatrical Mimèsis , would become one day one of the pillars of the Nouveau Theater? And which had dared to think in 1950 that the modest author of the Cantatrice bald person would be one day crowned of an uncontested world success? Any door to believe that the subversive playwright was carried by the critical speech which surrounded its original creation, and became in his turn integral part of the literary tradition or, to take again its own formula, of the “classicism”.
One must thus notice a paradox: by wanting immortaliser Ionesco, the international République of the Letters almost buried it of alive sound. Already, in 1986, the writer declared that it felt neglected, abandoned. From now on, the Professional singer bald person lost part of its capacity of astonishment: the new generations attend the representation of this “anti-part” as they would visit a museum - to contemplate a masterpiece of the past there. It is under curiosity, of picturesque digression, that it is mentioned in the tourist guides. More than ever the question of the ageing of the avant-gardes arises, of the “paradoxes of modernity” (Antoine Compagnon).
Childhood and youthEugene Ionesco is the son of a Rumanian lawyer working in the royal administration, and of the girl of a French engineer of the railroads which grew in Romania. In 1913, the young family emigrates in Paris where the father wants to pass a doctorate. When, in 1916, Romania declares the war with the Germany and the Austria, the father returns to the country, quickly cutting all the bonds with his family; he asks the divorce and remarie.
Ionesco remains with his/her young sister and her mother who makes live her children as it can in Paris, thanks to occasional work and using their French family. It is placed in a hearth of children to which it cannot be accustomed. Also, of 1917 with 1919, its sister and are entrusted to him to a family of peasants of the Vault-Anthenaise, a village close to Laval (Mayenne). This period will remain in its memory like a very happy time.
In 1922, the brother and the sister turn over in their father to Bucharest where they learn Rumanian. Their father obtained their guard but they do not find any sympathy in their mother-in-law remained without children. In 1926, Ionesco is annoyed with his/her father, apparently very authoritative, and who remainder has only contempt for the obvious interest that his/her son carries to the literature: he would have liked to make an engineer of it. Ionesco will maintain an execrable relation with this opportunist and tyrannical father. This same father, magistrate, will line up throughout his life on the side of the capacity and corruption, and will adhere successively to the Nazism then with Communism. Ionesco will never accept the lack of love and the rejection inflicted by his/her father.
It turns over in his mother, who returned she also to Romania, and found a station acceptable at the Rumanian bank of State. In 1928, it begins French studies in Bucharest and it becomes acquainted with Emile Michel Cioran and Mircea Eliade, as well as his future woman, Rodica Burileanu, a coed in philosophy and right pertaining to an influential Rumanian family. In parallel, it reads and writes many poetry, novels and literary criticisms (in Rumanian). After having finished its studies in 1934, it teaches French in various schools and other places of formation, then Marie in 1936.
Front difficult years, during and after the warIn 1938, Ionesco receives French institute in Bucharest a purse to improve in France, which enables him to escape the atmosphere choking from nationalist Romania, that as an intellectual rather on the left, it supports badly. From Paris, it provides information to the Rumanian reviews on the literary events of the capital.
After the defeat of France at the time of the Blitzkrieg from May-June 1940, it and his wife return to Romania. In August 1940 the country had to yield the North of the Transylvania to the Hungary and the Bessarabia with the Soviet Union, but at least it is in peace. Regarded as Rumanian Ionesco must pass the draft board, but is not built-in the army.
Any exchange after the alliance of Romania with Germany and its entry in war against the Soviet Union; this Ionesco time prefers to return to France, 1942 or 1943. It is now France which is calmer and it remains there definitively with his wife, initially with Marseilles, then with Paris. It is there that is born their single child, Marie-France, in 1944. The couple then knows a period of great financial embarrassment; Ionesco between as corrector with the service of a Parisian house of legal edition and it remains there until in 1955.
The slow riseIn 1947, inspired by the sentences of exercises of the English without sorrow of the method Assimil, Ionesco designs its first part the Professional singer bald person , who is played in 1950 and failing to attract the public immediately, holds the attention of several criticisms, the Collège of 'Pataphysique, and several amateurs of literature, like his friend Monica Lovinescu. In 1950, it takes French nationality. It continues to write parts, like the Lesson (represented in 1951) and Jacques or the Tender which make of him an author of French theater with whole share and one of the most important playwrights of the Theater of the absurd.
In 1951 follow the Chairs , the Master and the Future is in the eggs . In 1952 it with the idea of Victims of the duty . The same year sees the resumption of the Professional singer bald person and the Lesson . 1953 is the year of the recognition: Victimes of the duty is represented for the first time, is accompanied by a series of seven sketches, and receives a favorable reception. The first collection in a volume of its parts is printed. Ionesco still writes Amédée or how to get rid and of it the New Tenant .
Now, Ionesco is recognized like an author playing spiritually with the absurdity, and he almost manages to live of his parts. In 1954, it writes Table and the account Oriflamme , and it makes with Heidelberg its first voyage of conferences abroad. In 1955 it writes Impromptu of Alma and sees playing for the first time one of its parts abroad ( the New Tenant ). In 1957, it becomes Satrape College of 'Pataphysique. the Professional singer bald person and the Lesson receive a new setting in scene with small the Théâtre of Huchette in Paris; they appear without interruption since then in the program of this room.
Years with successIn autumn 1957, appears Rhinocéros , news in which Ionesco expresses its fear in front of the contagious bursting of chauvinistic patriotism and the racism which seized France at the time of the “Bataille of Algiers” (winter 1956/1957) where the French Army wanted to see the decisive turn of the Guerre of Algeria (1954 - 1962). With the autumn 1958, the part Rhinocéros takes again, with light modifications, the action and the characters of the news and watch again the concern of the author in front of “the confiscation of the capacity” by the Général de Gaulle of which many partisans hoped that it would establish an authoritarian regime of right-hand side. The part is adapted by Jean-Louis Barrault: it is for Ionesco the dedication.
As the part touches in France of the too delicate subjects, it is with Düsseldorf that it is represented for the first time in 1959, and the German public sees a critic of the Nazism for its part there - interpretation which one hastens to take again in France when Rhinocéros is put in scene in 1960, in Paris, which found its calm. During the winter 1958 - 1959 Ionesco develops the part Tueur without pledges starting from the account Oriflamme .
In 1962 also, is published under the title Notes and counter-notes a collection of articles and conferences of Ionesco on its theater. In 1964, Düsseldorf is once more pilot of a first of Ionesco: Thirst and the hunger . For the first time in the same year, one of its parts, Rhinocéros is put in scene in its native land, Romania.
Last decadesA little in spite of him, Ionesco entered now the character of the writer established, guest with conferences, filled prices and honors (“ In the plural, in the plural ”, said Péguy) and reached in 1970 the French Academy. In the last part of its life, it was also tested with the romantic kind and finished in 1973 the Recluse , where an at the same time marginal and unimportant character reviews his meaningless past and his present.
How playwright, Ionesco transforms into part the novel This formidable brothel! (1973). In this part, it makes play main character a part completely passive, almost dumb and all the same impressive. As the part is not deprived to throw sarcastic remarks on the Soixante-huitard S, those treat it of fascisant author, him which had been regarded a long time as the spokesperson of a radical criticism of the modern society.
In 1975 it gives its last part, the Man with the bags . After which Ionesco camps on its position of author of recognized theater, enjoying an uncontested glory, and turns worms of other kinds more, in particular the autobiography.
In the the Eighties and Ninety, Ionesco, of which health is increasingly bad, dark in the depression. It uses painting as therapy then.
When he dies in Paris, at the 84 years age, to be buried with the Cimetière of Montparnasse, he is not only king without crown of the Theater of the absurd, but he is also regarded as one of the large French playwrights of the twentieth century.
Triple appears of author
The entry “Eugene Ionesco” of the encyclopedias retains and ratifies the figure - synthetic and minimalist - of a Dramaturge French of Rumanian origin , leader of the Theater of the absurd at the sides of Samuel Beckett. In its simplest expression, the definition reduces Ionesco to “the author of the Professional singer bald person ” ( the Robert 2 ). Nothing more reducing: the novel, the tales, the news, the diaries, the lampoons, the political and esthetic tests of Ionesco were too often low esteems, even occulted, perhaps because of the difficulty of connecting them directly to the dramaturgy avant-gardist of their author. Eugene Ionesco is certainly the author of the Chaises , Rhinocéros and Thirst and the hunger ; he is also the author of Antidotes , the Solitaire and the intermittent Search .
The characteristic of that to which Jacques Mauclair decreed the title of “enfant terrible of the literature and Parisian life” is certainly to savagely resist any test of demystification. However, this figure of relatively complex author seems to be articulated around with less the three images which are superimposed.
The “anti-author”: modern, avant-gardist, iconoclast, slinger, clownesque, 'pataphysicianInitially, the entry of Ionesco in the literary space of the post-war period, of the Professional singer bald person with Impromptu of Alma . Ionesco becomes author, or rather “anti-author”, presenting to the public “anti-parts” which deviate from the Horizon of waiting of this one. Ionesco is then a character iconoclast and avant-gardist. Arrived on the boards by the means of unexpected circumstances, it côtoie the rows of the College of Pataphysique, and diverts Parisian criticism by its jokes and its argumentativeness.
The “great writer”: traditional, tragic, political, universal, intellectual, society man, academicianIonesco is one of these rare authors to be recognized of alive sound like “traditional”. He thus knew a fulgurating international repute, initially in Great Britain, where he caused new polemics with the dramatic critic Kenneth Tynan. Its parts moreover were a popular success ever contradicted, which led them small rooms of the Latin Quarter (the Night birds, the Pocket, Huchette) where it made its beginnings, with the large Parisian scenes (the Odéon-Theater, the Studio of the Fields-Elysées, the Comédie-Française)). This public success was finally confirmed by an institutional recognition: election with the French Academy, but also Price T.S. Elliot-Ingersoll with Chicago. Playwright, essay writer, novelist, lecturer who points out themselves by his political commitment, Ionesco becomes, with Rhinocéros , the King dies , Thirst and the Hunger , Jeux of massacre and Macbett , series of large tragic parts, a writer occupying an essential place in the world literature.
A “man in question”: reprocessed, essay writer, painter amateur, intimist, mystic, philosophicalLastly, the third slope of this figure of author appears in his withdrawal of the literary scene. With Saint-Gall, in Switzerland, Ionesco thus gives up the words for a painting naive and in charge of symbols. The last face of Ionesco is that of the mystic enthusiast of Eastern Philosophie, impassioned by the Kabbale, in the wake of his/her friend Mircea Eliade. The tests of this time, of Antidotes with the intermittent Search , while passing by a man in question , are as many nostalgic monologs and metaphysics, with through which Ionesco is directed towards a writing intimist where he seeks himself, analyzes itself and appears.
The intermittent coexistence of these three figures is not any doubt. Indeed, introspection is already present in 1952 in the Chairs and in 1956 in Amédée or how to get rid of it, just as the diaries, Journal in crumbs and Présent past. Passed present , are published in the years 1960, that is to say at the time where it invests the large scenes at the sides of Jean-Louis Barrault. Contrary, whereas Ionesco seems to be withdrawn of the public life, while at the same time he is hospitalized in Brussels on February 22nd 1989, he transmits, via his daughter, a famous indictment against the genocide of the Rumanian mode, joining again with the figure of the committed intellectual. For as much, on May 7th of the same year, at the time of the Third Night of Molières, the jokes of the entertainer and the troublemaker did not disappear. Ionesco remains perfectly unequal with itself.
WorkEugene Ionesco is considered, with the Irish Samuel Beckett, like the father of the Theater of the absurd, for which one needs “on a burlesque text a dramatic play; on a dramatic text, a burlesque play”. Beyond the ridiculous one of the most banal situations, the theater of Ionesco represents in a palpable way loneliness of the man and the insignificance of his existence.
- the Professional singer bald person (1950)
- the Greetings (1950)
- the Lesson (1951)
- the Chairs (1952)
- the Master (1953)
- Victims of the duty (1953)
- the Young girl to marry (1953)
- Amédée or how to get rid of it (1954)
- Jacques or tender (1955)
- the New Tenant (1955)
- Table (1955)
- Impromptu of Alma (1956)
- the future is in the eggs (1957)
- Tueur without pledges (1959)
- Scène to four (1959)
- Rhinocéros (1959)
- Apprendre to go (1960 )
- Délire to two (1962)
- the King dies (1962)
- the Pedestrian of the air (1963)
- the Thirst and the Hunger (1965)
- the Gap (1966)
- Jeux of massacre (1970)
- Macbett (1972)
- This formidable brothel! (1973)
- the Man with the bags (1975)
- Voyage to deaths (1980)
Booklet of Opera
- Notes and counter-notes , (the author and his problems; I. Experiment of the theater; II. Controversies and testimonys; III. My parts; IV. To want to be of its time it is already exceeded) (New increased edition) (Collection Ideas, n°107), Gallimard, 16.5.1966
- Découvertes , (illustrations of the author), coll Paths of Creation, ED. Albert Skira, Geneva 1969
- Antidotes (To dare not to think like the others; I. From Prague to London, shame; II. The culture is not the business of the State; III. I would have written, in any event; IV. Notes, fragments, polemics, talks; Why I write; the Academy; Homage to my missing friends), Gallimard, August 1977
- a man in question - tests (the man in " question; Such as it is " , Feb. 1978; Culture and policy; Opening speech of the Festival of Salzburg 1972; We deliver our ideas " NRF" , Sept. 1977; Very to start again? " NRF" , Nov. 1977; It is increasingly difficult for me… " NRF" , Jan. 1978; Some new reasons to despair " NRF" , April 1978; One month later " NRF" , August 1978; Monologs and setting in scene of certain dreams " NRF" , 1.3.1979; Myriam and others; Doctor I.V. arrives to France; Fear of the Utopia; Unexplainable events which arrived to me " Books of Est" , n° 1, Jan. 1975; I show… " Figaro" , Dec. 24, 1977; These Americans anti-Americans " Figaro" , Dec. 25, 1978; Against the directors critics, " Figaro" , Feb. 10, 1979; Stalin: the prototype of the tyrant " Figaro" , March 4th, 1978; Letter with Mr.; With bottom the politicians " Express" , Jan. 9, 1978; " Cantatrice" twenty years after " The Magazine" Express train; , Jan. 9-15, 1978; " Job and the excess of the mal" of Philippe Nemo " The Daily newspaper of Paris" , 8. June 1978; Miró, the only painter who dares to show with God that it is misled " Paris-Match" , Nov. 10, 1978; The world is intolerable " Soir" (Brussels), Feb. 14, 1979; Paul Gummed " Monde" , March 9th, 1979; August 31st, 1978), Gallimard, May 1979
- Hugoliade , (translated from Rumanian by Dragomir Costineanu with the participation of Ionesco Marie-France - original title: " Viata grotesca şi tragica has to him Victor Hugo" (written in 1935-36), Gallimard, August 1982
- Not (translated from Rumanian and annotated by Ionesco Marie-France) (First part: " Me, Tudor Arghezi, Bearded Ion and Camil Petresco" ; Second part: " False route critique"), Gallimard, April 1986
- the intermittent Search (Gallimard, coll White, 1987)
- the Photograph of the colonel (Gallimard, 1962) new ( Streamer , the photograph of the colonel , the pedestrian of the air , a victim of the duty , Rhinoceros , the mud , Springs 1939 )
- the Recluse (1973) Romance
- Newspaper in crumbs (accounts of dreams, opinions, memories, reflections morals, notes on the literature), Mercure de France, 1967
- Present past, last present , Mercure de France, July 1968
- “It is perfectly lucid on the ridiculous metaphysics of my situation of man, that I make literature. If I tried to withdraw me in my interior deserts, I would not continue any less to suffer from successes and the rising glory of my fellow-members from here and besides. I will not manage to exceed these simple things, common, that you, Mesdames and Sirs, find banal and hardly appreciate. I will thus live torn between the desire to satisfy my small vanities and the full conscience that ridiculous, the too obvious one in my eyes, of such a satisfaction would let to me neither be delighted nor to despair. ” ( Not )
“These Notes and counter-notes are the reflection of a from day to day carried out combat, they are randomly written battle, they could perhaps be used as documents, thus showing what could be the point of view of a encircled author who, wanting to retort on all the sides at the same time, was taken, sometimes, in contradictions that one will notice, undoubtedly, and whose readers will want to excuse me well. ” ( Notes and counter-notes )
“You all, innumerable, which died before me, help me. Say to me how you made to die, to accept. Teach it to me. That your example comforts me, that I am pressed on you as on crutches, as on fraternal arms. Help me to cross the door which you crossed. Return on this side one moment to help me. Help me, you, who were afraid and did not want. How that did it occur? Who supported you? Who involved you, who pushed you? Were you afraid until the end? And you, who were strong and courageous, which agree to die with indifference and serenity, teach me the indifference, teach me serenity, teach me resignation. ” ( the King dies )
" To want to be of its time, it is already to be exceeded "
" I do not insult, I prouve"
" One will end well up restoring monarchy, one day, against the dictatorship and the anarchie."
" The comic one is comic only if it is a little effrayant"
- http://linguaromana.byu.edu/contents3.html, special issue of the review Lingua Romana, devoted to Ionesco
- Belgian Site devoted to the author: a brought up to date bibliography (theater, prose, tests, written in Rumanian, criticisms and interpretations, but so radio, tele, films and discs), an index impressing of the settings in scene of parts of Ionesco (whatever are the country and the language).
- German Site devoted to the author: in particular to see an interview of German Ionesco (March 1994).
- Card on the author in the database of the French Academy: to see reception '' of Eugene Ionesco (February 25th, 1971) and the Answer of Mr. professor Jean Delay , as well as the portrait of Ionesco in of reception '' of Marc Fumaroli (January 25th, 1996).
- Several filmed talks with Ionesco are accessible in the Files for all from the National institute of the Audio-visual one: to see inter alia By the way. Michel Droit interviews Eugene Ionesco (ORTF - 3/23/1966 - 20 min), Ionesco in Zurich. What does play Ionesco? (ORTF - 1/1/1968 - 48 min), the man in question (FR3 - 7/23/1978 - 63 min), short memory. Eugene Ionesco. One day future (A2 - 6/7/1975 - 42 min) and bottom and the form. Eugene Ionesco. Self-portrait (ORTF - 1/22/1970 - 17 min).
- a discussion with Jean-Luc Lagarce around the Professional singer Bald person (6/25/1992 - 48 min) on the site theater-contemporain.tv
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