Eugène Ionesco (born Eugen Ionescu, Romanian 26 November 1909 – 28 March 1994) was a Romanian playwright who wrote mostly in French, and one of the foremost figures of the Theatre of the Absurd. Beyond ridiculing the most banal situations, Ionesco’s plays depict in a tangible way the solitude and insignificance of human existence.
Ionesco was born in Olt County, Romania, to a Romanian father belonging to the Orthodox Christian church and a mother of French and Romanian heritage, whose faith was Protestant. Eugène himself was baptized into the Orthodox Christian faith. Many sources cite his birthdate as 1912, this error being due to vanity on the part of Ionesco himself.
1. A WORK OF ART IS ABOVE ALL AN ADVENTURE OF THE MIND.
2. IT IS NOT THE ANSWER THAT ENLIGHTENS, BUT THE QUESTION.
3. 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.
4. WE HAVE NOT THE TIME TO TAKE OUR TIME.
5. DEOLOGIES SEPARATE US. DREAMS AND ANGUISH BRING US TOGETHER.
6. YOU CAN ONLY PREDICT THINGS AFTER THEY HAVE HAPPENED.
7. EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN WILL BE, EVERYTHING THAT WILL BE IS, EVERYTHING THAT WILL BE HAS BEEN.
8. EXPLANATION SEPARATES US FROM ASTONISHMENT, WHICH IS THE ONLY GATEWAY TO THE INCOMPREHENSIBLE.
9. A NOSE THAT CAN SEE IS WORTH TWO THAT SNIFF.
10. LIKE ALL REVOLUTIONS, THE SURREALIST REVOLUTION WAS A REVERSION, A RESTITUTION, AN EXPRESSION OF VITAL AND INDISPENSABLE SPIRITUAL NEEDS.
11. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN SUSPICIOUS OF COLLECTIVE TRUTHS.
12. LIVING IS ABNORMAL.
13. A CIVIL SERVANT DOESN’T MAKE JOKES.
14. SHAKESPEARE WAS THE GREAT ONE BEFORE US. HIS PLACE WAS BETWEEN GOD AND DESPAIR.
15. A MAN WITH A SOUL IS NOT LIKE EVERY OTHER MAN.
16. THE CRITIC SHOULD DESCRIBE, AND NOT PRESCRIBE.
17. THERE IS NO RELIGION IN WHICH EVERYDAY LIFE IS NOT CONSIDERED A PRISON; THERE IS NO PHILOSOPHY OR IDEOLOGY THAT DOES NOT THINK THAT WE LIVE IN ALIENATION.
18. BEAUTY IS A PRECIOUS TRACE THAT ETERNITY CAUSES TO APPEAR TO US AND THAT IT TAKES AWAY FROM US. A MANIFESTATION OF ETERNITY, AND A SIGN OF DEATH AS WELL.