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Eugene Ionesco Theater of Absurd By Anca Cighi. Eugene Ionesco was a famous playwright of the Absurd Theater Eugene Ionesco was a famous playwright of.

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Presentation on theme: "Eugene Ionesco Theater of Absurd By Anca Cighi. Eugene Ionesco was a famous playwright of the Absurd Theater Eugene Ionesco was a famous playwright of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eugene Ionesco Theater of Absurd By Anca Cighi

2 Eugene Ionesco was a famous playwright of the Absurd Theater Eugene Ionesco was a famous playwright of the Absurd Theater His works concentrated on the solitute and insignificance of one’s life and the most banal situations of life His works concentrated on the solitute and insignificance of one’s life and ridiculed the most banal situations of life

3 Biography Eugene Ionesco was born on November 26, 1909, in Slatina, Romania Eugene Ionesco was born on November 26, 1909, in Slatina, Romania He’s real name is Eugen Ionescu He’s real name is Eugen Ionescu He’s father was Romanian, but the origins of his mother are not known for sure He’s father was Romanian, but the origins of his mother are not known for sure According to some historians, the mother of Eugene Ionesco, Marie-Thèrèse Ipcar/Icard, was the daughter of a French-Protestant engineer who moved to Romania to work on the railroads. According to some historians, the mother of Eugene Ionesco, Marie-Thèrèse Ipcar/Icard, was the daughter of a French-Protestant engineer who moved to Romania to work on the railroads.

4 Though born in Romania, Eugene spent his early years in France, where his father, Eugene Senior, earned a law degree Though born in Romania, Eugene spent his early years in France, where his father, Eugene Senior, earned a law degree His parents were eventually separated by the first World War; mother remained in France with the children (Eugene had a sister) and father returned to Bucharest His parents were eventually separated by the first World War; mother remained in France with the children (Eugene had a sister) and father returned to Bucharest After a while, Eugene’s mother thought her husband dead, for he gave no sign of his whereabouts After a while, Eugene’s mother thought her husband dead, for he gave no sign of his whereabouts But Eugene Senior remarried and claimed the custody of his children, evoking abandonment; this is how Eugene and his sister returned to Romania But Eugene Senior remarried and claimed the custody of his children, evoking abandonment; this is how Eugene and his sister returned to Romania

5 During this time, the relations with his father were bad, and in 1926 Eugene left his father house and moved with his mother, who by then was also living in Bucharest During this time, the relations with his father were bad, and in 1926 Eugene left his father house and moved with his mother, who by then was also living in Bucharest Eugene learned Romanian and found it a beautiful language Eugene learned Romanian and found it a beautiful language In 1928 he had his debut as a poet in Bilete de papagal (parrot-notes), which appeared daily and was famous for its tiny format. In 1928 he had his debut as a poet in Bilete de papagal (parrot-notes), which appeared daily and was famous for its tiny format.

6 In 1929 the young poet was enrolled in French literature studies at Bucharest University In 1929 the young poet was enrolled in French literature studies at Bucharest University He was an excellent student and since university he began publishing his works and literary criticism He was an excellent student and since university he began publishing his works and literary criticism While there he met Emil Cioran and Mircea Eliade, and the three became lifelong friends While there he met Emil Cioran and Mircea Eliade, and the three became lifelong friends

7 During University he became acquainted with Rodica Burileanu During University he became acquainted with Rodica Burileanu He published his first article (on Ilarie Voronca) in the Zodiac review in 1930 He published his first article (on Ilarie Voronca) in the Zodiac review in 1930 In 1931 he wrote Elegii pentru fiinte mici (Elegies for tiny beings) (poetry) influenced by Francis Jammes. In 1931 he wrote Elegii pentru fiinte mici (Elegies for tiny beings) (poetry) influenced by Francis Jammes. Between 1928 and 1935 he wrote articles in the reviews Vremea (Time), Azi (Today), Floarea de Foc (Flower of Fire), Viata Literara (Literary Life), România Literara (Literary Romania), the weekly antifascist magazine Critica, Axa (the Axis), Fapta (the Fact), Ideea, Româneasca and Zodiac. Between 1928 and 1935 he wrote articles in the reviews Vremea (Time), Azi (Today), Floarea de Foc (Flower of Fire), Viata Literara (Literary Life), România Literara (Literary Romania), the weekly antifascist magazine Critica, Axa (the Axis), Fapta (the Fact), Ideea, Româneasca and Zodiac.

8 July 8, 1936 Eugene married Rodica and in 1938 returned to France, with his family (their daughter, Marie-France Ionesco, was born) July 8, 1936 Eugene married Rodica and in 1938 returned to France, with his family (their daughter, Marie-France Ionesco, was born) Ionesco never again saw his father and this is what he last recalls: Ionesco never again saw his father and this is what he last recalls: "The last time I saw him, I had completed my studies (...) and was married (...) He believed in the State, no matter what it represented. I did not like authority. I detested the State. (...) In short, at the end of our meals together, we were at sword's point with each other: at one time in the past he had called me a Bloshevik; this time he called me someone who sided with the Jews (...) I remember the last sentence I ever said to him: "It is better to be on the side of the Jews than to be a stupid idiot! " "The last time I saw him, I had completed my studies (...) and was married (...) He believed in the State, no matter what it represented. I did not like authority. I detested the State. (...) In short, at the end of our meals together, we were at sword's point with each other: at one time in the past he had called me a Bloshevik; this time he called me someone who sided with the Jews (...) I remember the last sentence I ever said to him: "It is better to be on the side of the Jews than to be a stupid idiot! "

9 Eugene Ionesco’s works

10 He wrote absurdist sketches, to which he gave the description of "anti-play" (anti-pièce in French) He wrote absurdist sketches, to which he gave the description of "anti-play" (anti-pièce in French) They express modern feelings of alienation and the impossibility and futility of communication with surreal comic force, parodying the conformism of the bourgeoisie and conventional theatrical forms. They express modern feelings of alienation and the impossibility and futility of communication with surreal comic force, parodying the conformism of the bourgeoisie and conventional theatrical forms. surreal Ionesco rejects a conventional story-line as their basis, instead taking their dramatic structure from accelerating rhythms and/or cyclical repetitions. Ionesco rejects a conventional story-line as their basis, instead taking their dramatic structure from accelerating rhythms and/or cyclical repetitions. He disregards psychology and coherent dialogue, thereby depicting a dehumanized world with mechanical, puppet-like characters who speak in non- sequiturs. He disregards psychology and coherent dialogue, thereby depicting a dehumanized world with mechanical, puppet-like characters who speak in non- sequiturs.non- sequitursnon- sequiturs Language is rarefied, with words and material objects gaining a life of their own Language is rarefied, with words and material objects gaining a life of their own

11 The Bald Soprano

12 Also translated as the Bald Prima Donna (French original title La Cantatrice Chauve) Also translated as the Bald Prima Donna (French original title La Cantatrice Chauve) It is Ionesco’s first play (one act play), written in 1950 It is Ionesco’s first play (one act play), written in 1950 Ionesco first got the idea of the play while learning English with the Assimil Method; he was intrigued by the fact that there are seven days in a week, that the ceiling is up and the floor is down; things which he already knew, but which suddenly struck him as being as stupefying as they were indisputably true Ionesco first got the idea of the play while learning English with the Assimil Method; he was intrigued by the fact that there are seven days in a week, that the ceiling is up and the floor is down; things which he already knew, but which suddenly struck him as being as stupefying as they were indisputably true

13 The play is about the Smith’s, a traditional family The play is about the Smith’s, a traditional family The whole play is full with non-sequiturs The whole play is full with non-sequiturs The audience gets the impression that the characters are not even listening to each other The audience gets the impression that the characters are not even listening to each other The play expresses the lack of communication in modern society, or its futility The play expresses the lack of communication in modern society, or its futility It was directed by Nicolas Bataille and first played on May 11, 1950 at the Théâtre des Noctambules. It was directed by Nicolas Bataille and first played on May 11, 1950 at the Théâtre des Noctambules.Nicolas BatailleMay 11 1950Théâtre des NoctambulesNicolas BatailleMay 11 1950Théâtre des Noctambules The Bald Soprano was received by the majority of critics with dismissive reviews and was not well attended. After 25 performances at the tiny Theatre des Noctambules, it was closed. The Bald Soprano was received by the majority of critics with dismissive reviews and was not well attended. After 25 performances at the tiny Theatre des Noctambules, it was closed. Since 1957 it has been in permanent showing at the Théâtre de la Huchette, which received a Molière d'honneur for its performances. Since 1957 it has been in permanent showing at the Théâtre de la Huchette, which received a Molière d'honneur for its performances.1957Théâtre de la HuchetteMolière d'honneur1957Théâtre de la HuchetteMolière d'honneur It’s one of France most famous plays nowadays It’s one of France most famous plays nowadays

14 La Lecon (The Lesson)

15 Written in 1951, also a one-act play Written in 1951, also a one-act play This play has three characters: the professor, the student and the professor’s maid This play has three characters: the professor, the student and the professor’s maid The action is simple: the professor gets more and more angry with the student’s ignorance and the students grows more and more timid The action is simple: the professor gets more and more angry with the student’s ignorance and the students grows more and more timid The professor kills the student and the play ends with the maid receiving a new student The professor kills the student and the play ends with the maid receiving a new student

16 Les Chaises – The Chairs

17 Written in 1952, it is an absurdist tragic-farse Written in 1952, it is an absurdist tragic-farse This play has two characters: Old Man and Old Woman This play has two characters: Old Man and Old Woman It is also full of non-sequiturs It is also full of non-sequiturs The setting is on a deserted island, where the two old people arrange chairs for some imaginary guests and talk to eac hother while the ‘guests’ arrive The setting is on a deserted island, where the two old people arrange chairs for some imaginary guests and talk to eac hother while the ‘guests’ arrive A 1998 production of this play was a success in England and moved on to the John Golden Theater on Broadway A 1998 production of this play was a success in England and moved on to the John Golden Theater on Broadway

18 Rhinoceros

19 Three-act play, written in 1959 Three-act play, written in 1959 All of the 17 characters, even the secondary members of the cast, have well-defined and distinct personalities. All of the 17 characters, even the secondary members of the cast, have well-defined and distinct personalities. The main character, Berenger, is criticised by the people around him for drinking too much and for his tardiness, but he is the only character from the play that does not surrender and transform into a rhino. The main character, Berenger, is criticised by the people around him for drinking too much and for his tardiness, but he is the only character from the play that does not surrender and transform into a rhino. The play depicts Ionesco’s horror of ideological conformism, inspired by the rise of the fascist Iron Guard in Romania in the 1930s The play depicts Ionesco’s horror of ideological conformism, inspired by the rise of the fascist Iron Guard in Romania in the 1930s

20 The play was first delivered via BBC radio in August 1959, first staged in Dusseldorf in October of the same year (at the Schauspielhaus, directed by Karl-Heinz Stroux with Karl- Maria Schley as Berenger), premiered first in Paris in 1960 and then at the Royal Court in London (directed by Orson Welles with Laurence Olivier) The play was first delivered via BBC radio in August 1959, first staged in Dusseldorf in October of the same year (at the Schauspielhaus, directed by Karl-Heinz Stroux with Karl- Maria Schley as Berenger), premiered first in Paris in 1960 and then at the Royal Court in London (directed by Orson Welles with Laurence Olivier) The play was adapted for a 1973 film (also called Rhinoceros) directed by Tom O'Horgan and starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. The play was adapted for a 1973 film (also called Rhinoceros) directed by Tom O'Horgan and starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. the 1961 Broadway production that caused Ionesco unprecedented celebrity. With Eli Wallach as Berenger and Zero Mostel as Jean (for which Mostel received his first Tony), it was directed by Joseph Anthony and produced by Leo Kerz. the 1961 Broadway production that caused Ionesco unprecedented celebrity. With Eli Wallach as Berenger and Zero Mostel as Jean (for which Mostel received his first Tony), it was directed by Joseph Anthony and produced by Leo Kerz. Considering the great number of languages into which the play has been translated, and ongoing international interest in producing it, it is perhaps surprising to find that to date the country in which it has received the most number of productions (if not performances) is the US Considering the great number of languages into which the play has been translated, and ongoing international interest in producing it, it is perhaps surprising to find that to date the country in which it has received the most number of productions (if not performances) is the US

21 The play was performed in Bucharest, at the Teatrul de Comedie only in 1964, as Ionesco’s works were banned in Romania The play was performed in Bucharest, at the Teatrul de Comedie only in 1964, as Ionesco’s works were banned in Romania The play contains an ironic self-reference: The play contains an ironic self-reference: JEAN: [to BERENGER] Instead of squandering all your spare money on drink, isn't it better to buy a ticket for an interesting play? Do you know anything about the avant-garde theatre there's so much talk about? Have you seen Ionesco's plays? BERENGER: [to JEAN] Unfortunately, no. I've only heard people talk about them. (...) JEAN: [to BERENGER] There's one playing now. Take advantage of it. JEAN: [to BERENGER] Instead of squandering all your spare money on drink, isn't it better to buy a ticket for an interesting play? Do you know anything about the avant-garde theatre there's so much talk about? Have you seen Ionesco's plays? BERENGER: [to JEAN] Unfortunately, no. I've only heard people talk about them. (...) JEAN: [to BERENGER] There's one playing now. Take advantage of it.

22 "Anyway, Berenger is, I hope, above all a character. And if he is time-resistant, it will be because he has proved himself as a character; he should, if he has any real worth, survive even after his "message" has become outdated. Poetically, it is not his thought but his passion and his imaginative life that will matter, for his message could quite as well be delivered now by a journalist, a philosopher or a moralist, etc....The interest we may take today in a particular attitude, in spite of its human importance, takes second place to the permanent importance of art." "Anyway, Berenger is, I hope, above all a character. And if he is time-resistant, it will be because he has proved himself as a character; he should, if he has any real worth, survive even after his "message" has become outdated. Poetically, it is not his thought but his passion and his imaginative life that will matter, for his message could quite as well be delivered now by a journalist, a philosopher or a moralist, etc....The interest we may take today in a particular attitude, in spite of its human importance, takes second place to the permanent importance of art."

23 Other writings Ionesco also had theoratical writings, mainly as direct response to his critics Ionesco also had theoratical writings, mainly as direct response to his critics The famous ‘London Controversy’: critic Kenneth Tynan, after first praising the Bald Primma Dona, later, in the pages of The Observer, withdraws his favorable opinion and chastises Ionesco's plays on the grounds that they are not politically correct The famous ‘London Controversy’: critic Kenneth Tynan, after first praising the Bald Primma Dona, later, in the pages of The Observer, withdraws his favorable opinion and chastises Ionesco's plays on the grounds that they are not politically correct "M. Ionesco's theatre is pungent and exciting, but it remains a diversion. It is not on the main road: and we do him no good, nor the drama at large, to pretend that it is..." "M. Ionesco's theatre is pungent and exciting, but it remains a diversion. It is not on the main road: and we do him no good, nor the drama at large, to pretend that it is..."

24 He also explains his view of how theater should be: He also explains his view of how theater should be: "I have attempted...to exteriorize, by using objects, the anguish of my characters, to make the set speak and the action on the stage more visual, to translate into concrete images terror, regret or remorse, and estrangement, to play with words (but not to send them packing) and even perhaps to deform them-- which is generally accepted in the work of poets and humorists. I have thus sought to extend the idiom of the theatre." "I have attempted...to exteriorize, by using objects, the anguish of my characters, to make the set speak and the action on the stage more visual, to translate into concrete images terror, regret or remorse, and estrangement, to play with words (but not to send them packing) and even perhaps to deform them-- which is generally accepted in the work of poets and humorists. I have thus sought to extend the idiom of the theatre."

25 He also states in his theoretical writings that as a child he hated going to the theater, but that the first theatrical encounter in which he recalls having delighted is the puppet show in the Luxembourg Gardens. He also states in his theoretical writings that as a child he hated going to the theater, but that the first theatrical encounter in which he recalls having delighted is the puppet show in the Luxembourg Gardens. At about the age of four "I...could stay there, spellbound, all day long. But I did not laugh. That Punch and Judy show kept me there open-mouthed, watching those puppets talking, moving and cudgeling each other. It was the very image of the world that appeared to me, strange and improbable but truer than true, in the profoundly simplified form of caricature, as though to stress the grotesque and brutal nature of the truth....until I was fifteen...[e]very live show awoke in me this feeling for the strangeness of the world..." At about the age of four "I...could stay there, spellbound, all day long. But I did not laugh. That Punch and Judy show kept me there open-mouthed, watching those puppets talking, moving and cudgeling each other. It was the very image of the world that appeared to me, strange and improbable but truer than true, in the profoundly simplified form of caricature, as though to stress the grotesque and brutal nature of the truth....until I was fifteen...[e]very live show awoke in me this feeling for the strangeness of the world..."

26 Honors and awards He received numerous awards including Tours Festival Prize for film, 1959 He received numerous awards including Tours Festival Prize for film, 19591959 Prix Italia, 1963 Prix Italia, 19631963 Society of Authors Theatre Prize, 1966 Society of Authors Theatre Prize, 19661966 Grand Prix National for theatre, 1969 Grand Prix National for theatre, 19691969 Monaco Grand Prix, 1969 Monaco Grand Prix, 19691969 Austrian State Prize for European Literature, 1970 Austrian State Prize for European Literature, 19701970 Jerusalem Prize, 1973 Jerusalem Prize, 1973 Jerusalem Prize1973 Jerusalem Prize1973 honorary doctorates from New York University and the universities of Leuven, Warwick and Tel Aviv. honorary doctorates from New York University and the universities of Leuven, Warwick and Tel Aviv.LeuvenWarwickTel AvivLeuvenWarwickTel Aviv He was made a member of the Académie française in 1970 He was made a member of the Académie française in 1970Académie française 1970Académie française 1970

27 Quotes Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together. Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together. I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware of the unreality, the evanescence of the world, a fleeting image in the moving water. I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware of the unreality, the evanescence of the world, a fleeting image in the moving water. A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind. A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.

28 Ionesco died on March 29, 1994 at the age of 84 Ionesco died on March 29, 1994 at the age of 84 He is buried in Paris, in Cimetière du Montparnasse He is buried in Paris, in Cimetière du Montparnasse The inscription reads: The inscription reads: “Pray to the I don't- know-who: Jesus Christ, I hope” “Pray to the I don't- know-who: Jesus Christ, I hope”

29 Bibliography www.wikipedia.com www.wikipedia.com www.wikipedia.com http://www.ionesco.org/vie-en http://www.ionesco.org/vie-en http://www.ionesco.org/vie-en http://www.untitledtheater.com/Productionlist. html http://www.untitledtheater.com/Productionlist. html http://www.untitledtheater.com/Productionlist. html http://www.untitledtheater.com/Productionlist. html http://www.reacttheatre.org http://www.reacttheatre.org http://www.reacttheatre.org http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/ eugene_ionesco.html http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/ eugene_ionesco.html


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