Zitate von Eugéne Ionesco

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Eugéne Ionesco

Geburtstag: 26. November 1909
Todesdatum: 28. März 1994

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Eugène Ionesco war ein französisch-rumänischer Autor. Er gilt als bedeutendster französischer Dramatiker der Nachkriegszeit und als ein führender Vertreter des absurden Theaters. Ab den 1980er Jahren trat Ionesco auch als Maler hervor.

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„Writers who try to prove something are unattractive to me, because there is nothing to prove and everything to imagine. So I let words and images emerge from within. If you do that, you might prove something in the process.“

— Eugéne Ionesco
Context: I let characters and symbols emerge from me, as if I were dreaming. I always use what remains of my dreams of the night before. Dreams are reality at its most profound, and what you invent is truth because invention, by its nature, can’t be a lie. Writers who try to prove something are unattractive to me, because there is nothing to prove and everything to imagine. So I let words and images emerge from within. If you do that, you might prove something in the process.

„To introduce people to a different world, to encounter the miracle of being, that is important.“

— Eugéne Ionesco
Context: To introduce people to a different world, to encounter the miracle of being, that is important. When I write “The train arrives at the station,” it is banal, but at the same time sensational, because it is invented.

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„I abandoned criticism because I am full of contradictions, and when you write an essay you are not supposed to contradict yourself. But in the theater, by inventing various characters, you can. My characters are contradictory not only in their language, but in their behavior as well.“

— Eugéne Ionesco
Context: The theater chose me. As I said, I started with poetry, and I also wrote criticism and dialogue. But I realized that I was most successful at dialogue. Perhaps I abandoned criticism because I am full of contradictions, and when you write an essay you are not supposed to contradict yourself. But in the theater, by inventing various characters, you can. My characters are contradictory not only in their language, but in their behavior as well.

„You know, the Cathars believed that the world was not created by God but by a demon who had stolen a few technological secrets from Him and made this world — which is why it doesn’t work.“

— Eugéne Ionesco
Context: You know, the Cathars believed that the world was not created by God but by a demon who had stolen a few technological secrets from Him and made this world — which is why it doesn’t work. I don’t share this heresy. I’m too afraid! But I put it in a play called This Extraordinary Brothel, in which the protagonist doesn’t talk at all. There is a revolution, everybody kills everybody else, and he doesn’t understand. But at the very end, he speaks for the first time. He points his finger towards the sky and shakes it at God, saying, “You rogue! You little rogue!” and he bursts out laughing. He understands that the world is an enormous farce, a canular played by God against man, and that he has to play God’s game and laugh about it. canular refers to hoaxes, humorous deceptions.

„Perhaps there will be a morning of grace for humanity. Perhaps there will be a morning of grace for me.“

— Eugéne Ionesco
Context: I thought that it was strange to assume that it was abnormal for anyone to be forever asking questions about the nature of the universe, about what the human condition really was, my condition, what I was doing here, if there was really something to do. It seemed to me on the contrary that it was abnormal for people not to think about it, for them to allow themselves to live, as it were, unconsciously. Perhaps it's because everyone, all the others, are convinced in some unformulated, irrational way that one day everything will be made clear. Perhaps there will be a morning of grace for humanity. Perhaps there will be a morning of grace for me. The Hermit (1973)

„I am told, in a dream ... you can only get the answer to all your questions through a dream.“

— Eugéne Ionesco
Context: I am told, in a dream... you can only get the answer to all your questions through a dream. So in my dream, I fall asleep, and I dream, in my dream, that I'm having that absolute, revealing dream. Speaking of a dream not fully remembered, in Fragments of a Journal (1966)

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„I let characters and symbols emerge from me, as if I were dreaming.“

— Eugéne Ionesco
Context: I let characters and symbols emerge from me, as if I were dreaming. I always use what remains of my dreams of the night before. Dreams are reality at its most profound, and what you invent is truth because invention, by its nature, can’t be a lie. Writers who try to prove something are unattractive to me, because there is nothing to prove and everything to imagine. So I let words and images emerge from within. If you do that, you might prove something in the process.

„The most implacable enemies of culture — Rimbaud, Lautréamont, dadaism, surrealism — end up being assimilated and absorbed by it.“

— Eugéne Ionesco
Context: The most implacable enemies of culture — Rimbaud, Lautréamont, dadaism, surrealism — end up being assimilated and absorbed by it. They all wanted to destroy culture, at least organized culture, and now they’re part of our heritage. It’s culture and not the bourgeoisie, as has been alleged, that is capable of absorbing everything for its own nourishment. As for the oneiric element, that is due partly to surrealism, but to a larger extent due to personal taste and to Romanian folklore — werewolves and magical practices. For example, when someone is dying, women surround him and chant, “Be careful! Don’t tarry on the way! Don’t be afraid of the wolf; it is not a real wolf!”—exactly as in Exit the King. They do that so the dead man won’t stay in infernal regions.<!-- The same thing can be found in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which had a great impact on me too. However, my deepest anxieties were awakened, or reactivated, through Kafka.

„There were no longer words being spoken, but images being visualized. We achieved it above all by the dislocation of language. … Beckett destroys language with silence. I do it with too much language, with characters talking at random, and by inventing words.“

— Eugéne Ionesco
Context: Beckett shows death; his people are in dustbins or waiting for God. (Beckett will be cross with me for mentioning God, but never mind.) Similarly, in my play The New Tenant, there is no speech, or rather, the speeches are given to the Janitor. The Tenant just suffocates beneath proliferating furniture and objects — which is a symbol of death. There were no longer words being spoken, but images being visualized. We achieved it above all by the dislocation of language. … Beckett destroys language with silence. I do it with too much language, with characters talking at random, and by inventing words.

„The more you make revolutions, the worse it gets.“

— Eugéne Ionesco
Context: The French Revolution liberated people from the power of the aristocrats. But the bourgeoisie that took over represented the exploitation of man by man, and had to be destroyed—as in the Russian Revolution, which then degenerated into totalitarianism, Stalinism, and genocide. The more you make revolutions, the worse it gets. Man is driven by evil instincts that are often stronger than moral laws … there is a higher order, but man can separate himself from it because he is free — which is what we have done. We have lost the sense of this higher order, and things will get worse and worse, culminating perhaps in a nuclear holocaust — the destruction predicted in the Apocalyptic texts. Only our apocalypse will be absurd and ridiculous because it will not be related to any transcendence. Modern man is a puppet, a jumping jack.

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