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From Bucharest to Paris: Ionesco at war with politics and literature

Jeanine Teodorescu-Regier, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Eugène Ionesco's Romanian career announced and prepared for his later, well-known French career. Ionescu, poet and literary critic, had already acquired the skills and the fortitude to oppose a whole establishment, literary and political. At several levels, even when seemingly most absurd, Ionesco's writing remains autobiographical. His political stand can be better understood when taking into account how history and family circumstances affected his personal life. His mother's Jewishness, his father's political opportunism and nationalistic penchant, and the aggressive racism and widespread antisemitism of Romania made him react vehemently against any type of ideology, either from the extreme right (the Iron Guard) during the Fascist period in Romania, or from the left, during the Marxist and Brechtian years in France. Ionesco denounced past and present political myth, revealing the paradoxical nature of a revolutionary who distrusted revolutions. Ionesco's Romanian literary milieu and his extensive criticism of its literary politics in Non (1934), as well as his passionate indictment of various types of politics during troubled times in Romania, anticipate his development as a French playwright and as a defender of international human rights. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Comparative|Biography|Literature, Romance|Theater

Recommended Citation

Teodorescu-Regier, Jeanine, "From Bucharest to Paris: Ionesco at war with politics and literature" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9977028.