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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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Zitate Eugéne Ionesco

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„Morgen für Morgen kommt man zur Welt.“

—  Eugéne Ionesco
Der König stirbt. Deutsch von Claus Bremer (1924-1996) und Hans Rudolf Stauffacher (1923-1977). In: Spectaculum: Moderne Theaterstücke, Band 7. Suhrkamp 1965, S. 178

„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
The Paris Review interview (1984), 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.

„No society has been able to abolish human sadness, no political system can deliver us from the pain of living, from our fear of death, our thirst for the absolute. It is the human condition that directs the social condition, not vice versa.“

—  Eugéne Ionesco
Context: I believe that what separates us all from one another is simply society itself, or, if you like, politics. This is what raises barriers between men, this is what creates misunderstanding. If I may be allowed to express myself paradoxically, I should say that the truest society, the authentic human community, is extra-social — a wider, deeper society, that which is revealed by our common anxieties, our desires, our secret nostalgias. The whole history of the world has been governed by nostalgias and anxieties, which political action does no more than reflect and interpret, very imperfectly. No society has been able to abolish human sadness, no political system can deliver us from the pain of living, from our fear of death, our thirst for the absolute. It is the human condition that directs the social condition, not vice versa. "A Reply to Kenneth Tynan: The Playwright's Role" in The Observer (29 June 1958)

„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
The Paris Review interview (1984), 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.

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„My thoughts were not yet organized or coherent at that age, but I had feelings, a certain nascent [[humanism], and I found these things inadmissible.“

—  Eugéne Ionesco
The Paris Review interview (1984), Context: I remember one day there was a military parade. A lieutenant was marching in front of the palace guards. I can still see him carrying the flag. I was standing beside a peasant with a big fur hat who was watching the parade, absolutely wide-eyed. Suddenly the lieutenant broke rank, rushed toward us, and slapped the peasant, saying, “Take off your hat when you see the flag!” I was horrified. My thoughts were not yet organized or coherent at that age, but I had feelings, a certain nascent [[humanism], and I found these things inadmissible. The worst thing of all, for an adolescent, was to be different from everyone else. Could I be right and the whole country wrong?

„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.“

—  Eugéne Ionesco
The Paris Review interview (1984), 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.

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

—  Eugéne Ionesco
The Paris Review interview (1984), 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.

„It won’t matter to me at all whether the Church canonizes him or not. The important thing is that such a man existed.“

—  Eugéne Ionesco
The Paris Review interview (1984), Context: It’s a play about the life and martyrdom of a modern saint, who has just been canonized by the Church — or is it beatified? Which comes first? I’m not sure. Anyway, his name was Father Maximilian Kolbe, a Pole, and he died in Auschwitz. They were going to send some prisoners to a mine, where they would die of hunger and thirst. Father Kolbe offered to go instead of a man who had a wife and children and didn’t want to die. That man is still alive. … It won’t matter to me at all whether the Church canonizes him or not. The important thing is that such a man existed.

„They are miserable and they don’t know why. They are puppets, undone. In short, they represent modern man. Their situation is not tragic, since it has no relation to a higher order. Instead, it’s ridiculous, laughable, and derisory.“

—  Eugéne Ionesco
The Paris Review interview (1984), Context: I found ancestors, like Shakespeare, who said, in Macbeth, that the world is full of sound and fury, a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing. Macbeth is a victim of fate. So is Oedipus. But what happens to them is not absurd in the eyes of destiny, because destiny, or fate, has its own norms, its own morality, its own laws, which cannot be flouted with impunity. Oedipus sleeps with his Mummy, kills his Daddy, and breaks the laws of fate. He must pay for it by suffering. It is tragic and absurd, but at the same time it’s reassuring and comforting, since the idea is that if we don’t break destiny’s laws, we should be all right. Not so with our characters. They have no metaphysics, no order, no law. They are miserable and they don’t know why. They are puppets, undone. In short, they represent modern man. Their situation is not tragic, since it has no relation to a higher order. Instead, it’s ridiculous, laughable, and derisory.

„Beckett shows death; his people are in dustbins or waiting for God. (Beckett will be cross with me for mentioning God, but never mind.)“

—  Eugéne Ionesco
The Paris Review interview (1984), 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.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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